Welcome to INvertebrateIT!
Aquaculture is a necessary part of the quest for solutions for sustainable growth, food security and environmental stewardship. This applies at global level, and is particularly understood in the EU. As such, it embodies Blue Growth and IMP policy, and is one of the RIS3 pillars across EU Atlantic regions. However, EU aquaculture, despite its quality and environmental standards, is stagnant. One of the main challenges is the rising cost and volatility of fish feeds, which significantly reduces the competitiveness and resilience of ventures, mainly led by SMEs. On the other hand, aquaculture has the potential to provide many jobs in the region, including in rural and remote areas, which is a specific need of the EU Atlantic Basin regions, being the Sea Basin that the project will focus on.
Invertebrates, such as insects, have been highlighted by top level institutions as a most promising and necessary part of food production chains, thanks to their high conversion factors, lesser environmental impact and unique assets for development led by SMEs. Waste management (agrofood and other) can be used to produce invertebrates that are particularly well suited for fish feed production, and the trends and gaps in global markets point towards them to imminently disrupt current conditions.
INvertebrateIT is a new innovative project funded under the European Union EASME’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund in the field of ‘transfer of innovative solutions to sea basin economies’ that aims to help aquaculture operators mitigate their current dependence on costly, volatile, and often unsustainable fish feeds, to diversify their business and to contribute to a better management of valuable organic waste and/or new algal substrates for invertebrate production. This proposed integrated scheme builds on available technology in insect production and strategic policy for the aquaculture and waste sectors.