Innovative solutions for the development of high quality marine aquaculture in Sweden, with the focus on environmental and economic sustainability
Adult lobster. Photo: Susanne Eriksson
Lobster and spotted wolffish are two commercially valuable species that are very suitable for cultivation. There is currently only one newly established Norwegian commercial farm for wolffish in the world and lobster is farmed mainly for compensatory stocking purposes in the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain and at the experimental level for food production in Norway and Iceland, but not in Sweden.
In this project, the researchers are investigating optimisation of cultivation system and sustainable feeds regarding growth, health, welfare etc. for lobster and wolffish. The goal is to develop a strategy for establishment of sustainable Swedish marine aquaculture for food production, to meet an increased demand for seafood from consumers, and also to support businesses development in coastal communities to create jobs and sources of income.
The main aim of the project is to develop innovative, sustainable aquaculture systems through increasing technical, biological and socio-economic knowledge concerning marine aquaculture of these species, in order to make it possible for more businesses to start this type of cultivation. The aquaculture system in focus is land-based, closed, recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) with maximal barrier against the surrounding environment and minimal emissions and exchange. Wolffish prefers cold water and lobster warmer water, placing differing demands on the system. Pilot cultivations will be established to host research, innovation, training and collaboration between researchers and the sector.
Lobster larvae and three-month-old lobsters. Photo: Susanne Eriksson.
Many marine feeds are based on fish meal and fish oil, primarily using wild-caught fish. In this project, the researchers want to develop new feeds based on sustainable raw materials and currently unutilised fish and shellfish by-products. In the growing phase, fish and shellfish eat feed pellets, while many marine larvae prefer live feedstuffs. Live feed is more complicated to produce, since it requires production of micro-algae that act as feed for plankton, which in turn become feed for the larvae. The researchers in this project aim to develop soft feed based on sustainable raw materials that is acceptable to larvae and juveniles.
“Research is more interesting when you believe that the results will be of practical use”.
Kristina Sundell with spotted wolffish. Photo: Susanne Eriksson.
The project also includes studies on the quality and nutrient content of the end products, life cycle analyses of the studied aquaculture systems and research on the social, cultural and economic effects of establishing viable marine aquaculture in the future. Great emphasis is being placed on communication with relevant groups such as fishers, growers, processing companies, authorities and local communities.
“The commitment and participation of Västra Götaland region means that it is possible to make something of this, that someone will take over when the research task ends and that there will be entrepreneurs who drive operations forward. Research is more interesting when you believe that the results will be of practical use” (research leader Kristina Snuttan Sundell).
FACTS ON THE PROJECT
Name: Kristina Snuttan Sundell, Göteborgs Universitet
Funding: SEK 15,9 million
Find out more about Kristina