An innovative multi-disciplinary aquaculture project led by NUI Galway and Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT ) is set to improve production efficiencies and management of farmed fish at several inland freshwater sites.
The project, ‘ECOAQUA’, has received €348,781 in funding under the European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF ).
Led by Dr Eoghan Clifford from NUI Galway and Professor Neil Rowan from AIT, with support from Bord Iascaigh Mhara’s technical aquaculture team, ECOAQUA will address critically important needs identified by industry and aquaculture stakeholders.
These needs include analysing performance, facilitating the re-use of treated water, increasing production while meeting stringent environmental regulations, piloting technological innovations, and enabling the industry to communicate better with government, policymakers, and the public.
Professor Neil Rowan from AIT said: “This exciting cross-cutting project leverages on a critical mass of engineering and scientific expertise, industry stakeholders, policy-makers, commercial operators and international experts to respond directly to pressing environmental issues that were informed by industry.
“ECOAQUA will model and profile the global performance of pilot freshwater aquaculture farms, which will ensure that high potential interventions are easily transferable to the industry sector, ensuring the intensive sustainability and viability of this industry.”
Mr Alan Kennedy, ECOAQUA project manager at NUI Galway, said: “This timely project will improve the water quality of freshwater farms through the incorporation of water treatment technologies and energy reduction interventions into existing flow through farms that will also enable seamless transitions to next-generation production formats.”