All Atlantic Ocean Sustainable, Profitable and Resilient Aquaculture
ASTRAL is a HORIZON 2020 project financed under the Blue Growth programme that contributes to the implementation of the Belém Statement, an agreement between the EU, Brazil and South Africa to develop a strategic partnership on marine research, and the building of an All Atlantic Ocean Community.
ASTRAL focuses on integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) farming and defines, supports and promotes this type of sustainable aquaculture production in the Atlantic area. At the heart of ASTRAL lies the mutual progress on IMTA, as a profitable and sustainable production process.
ASTRAL addresses sustainability along a strong climate-ocean-food value chain, linking expected environmental risks to cost-efficiency and best practices of IMTA production and food safety. This target is supported by technological innovations providing a significantly improved capability of observing and monitoring three main environmental risks; two (HAB and pathogens) are evaluated in light of climate change and one (microplastics) as an emerging pollutant. This will lead to concrete recommendations on region-specific monitoring programmes to be established for supporting the sustainability target. The inherent IMTA property related to circularity and reduced waste will evaluate for different IMTA production systems, providing recommendations on best practices towards zero waste.
Role of SAMS in the ASTRAL project
Our role is to develop IMTA at our seaweed farm at Port-a-Bhuiltin by expanding to cultivation of shellfish. We will focus on adding value chains, enhancing circularity and reducing waste, implementing technological advances, monitoring of environmental conditions (including HABs, pathogens, and microplastics), assessing economic feasibility and implementing responsible research & innovation and social science. Our goal is to develop a blue-print to sustainable and resilient IMTA farming in Scotland.