AquaSpace – Ecosystem Approach to making space for sustainable aquaculture (http://www.aquaspace-h2020.eu/) is a three year long project funded by the European Commission in the framework of the Horizon 2020 research programme. The main goal of the project, which started in March 2015, is to develop methodologies and tools for increasing space of high water quality for aquaculture, based on the Ecosystem Approach to Aquaculture (EAA), endorsed by FAO, and in compliance with the Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) EU directive.
Aquaspace will foster the implementation of the EU Blue Growth strategy, which aims at supporting sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors as a whole, by delivering increased employment opportunities and economic growth in the aquaculture sector.
Aquaspace will involve stakeholders, both aquaculture operators and coastal managers, in order to identify the main constraint to the allocation of space to aquaculture and to validate the tools developed during the project. These will be tested at 16 case studies, covering the main EU aquaculture typologies.
Validated tools will be made available through an innovative web-based platform with entry tailored to the needs of different user profiles (industry, planners, public) providing information and operational tools to end-user. The Aquaspace Consortium includes 18 EU partners from (UK, Spain, Italy, Norway, Hungary, France, Ireland, Portugal, Germany, Greece) but also 4 non-EU partners, from USA, Canada, China and Australia, who will allow the testing of tools worldwide.
Role of Bluefarm
Bluefarm, the only Italian partner of AquaSpace, is involved in all Work Packages but will contribute, in particular to WP4, in which tool are going to be tested, and WP6, which main objective is to ensure that Aquaspace results will be disseminated and that the project will have a long lasting impact on aquaculture industry.
In WP4 Bluefarm will work in close collaboration with farmers and regulators of the Emilia Romagna region in order to identify areas for the potential expansion of shellfish farming along the Adriatic coastline. In WP6 we lead an important Task, concerning the licensing/devolving of a subset of the intellectual property within the project to an existing or bespoke Enterprise, Professional Body or Association to ensure lasting impact.