In Europe, aquaculture accounts for about 25% of fish production and directly employs some 85,000 people. The industry consists of 14,000 local enterprises in the EU, 90% of which are SMEs. EU aquaculture is renowned for its high quality, sustainability and consumer protection standards. The sector is considered one of the pillars of the EU’s Blue Growth Strategy and its development can contribute to the Europe 2020 Strategy.

A great challenge for aquaculture growth is the extremely low profit margin environment. Thus the need to accurately identify best management practices, gaps and needs in knowledge and technologies.

BlueBRIDGE aims to develop tools that will help companies increase productivity, resilience and lower development impact on the environment. That is the only way to sustainable aquaculture, which is the answer to the growing global demand for seafood.

BlueBRIDGE will develop two new services addressing two relevant problems related to this challenge that build one upon the other:

  • Performance estimation, benchmarking and decision making in aquaculture service: Companies will provide data of representative units, batches or group of batches and get a) an in-depth analysis of their performance, exploiting on a set of KPIs b) models for feeding, feed conversion and mortality together with analysis tools that will allow them to run “what-if” scenarios and make predictions. At the same time, they will be able to correlate the results of their analysis to industry standards and diversified global models. This will help them to improve productivity and will also extend the capacity of scientific research communities and policy makers to quantify and comprehend aqua-farming industry operation ensuring sustainability and development of the sector.
  • Strategic Investment Analysis and Scientific Planning and Alerting service: supporting investors and scientists in the efficient identification of strategic locations of interest that meet multifactor selection criteria.

The two new services will be put in practice initially in two domains:

  • a group of aquafarming SMEs, that have been preselected and will be contributing to the benchmarking and evaluation of their production and
  • a group of individual stakeholders, not funded by the project, for evaluating potential investment scenarios.

In later stages, the user base will be expanded with scientists (socio-economics and marine sciences) able to exploit the BlueBRIDGE knowledge, data and tools to further expand their domain of research and their ability to respond to locate situations of interests and more SMEs coming from the aquatic farming domain that will use the services to exploit, share knowledge and diversify their practices.

Stay tuned @BlueBridgeVREs