Increasing Industrial Resource Efficiency in European Mariculture (IDREEM) initiated at October of 2012 and ended in September of 2016. This 4 year project was coordinated by SAMS and funded by ENV 2012 – FP7 program. IDREEM promoted the concept of Integrated Multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) which even though it offers obvious benefits it has not yet been adopted by the European aquaculture industry.
IMTA is when secondary commercial species from different trophic levels are cultivated adjacent to the fin fish cages which assimilate fish farm effluents and basically turn waste into useful biomass product. IDREEM aimed to create smarter greener growth for the aquaculture industry by demonstrating IMTA (using fish farm waste streams to produce high value extractive organisms such as seaweed and shellfish) at several aquaculture production units across Europe. IDREEM used an integrated approach to define the environmental, economic and social bottlenecks of the new production technology, to quantify and demonstrate the economic and environmental benefits with life cycle assessment and life cycle costing and provide modelling tools.
In Cyprus, MER managed the IMTA trials at an offshore farm which included mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis), oysters (Ostrea edulis), sea urchins (Paracentrotus lividus), abalone (Haliotis tuberculata), blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) and sponges, and has gained valuable experience about the opportunities and barriers of this technology in the Mediterranean.
While IMTA in northern Europe has reached a commercial scale of production during the lifetime of IDREEM project, it is not yet there in the Mediterranean offshore aquaculture. Trials in Cyprus have demonstrated that there are many environmental and technical barriers to address before sustainable IMTA practices are achieved.
We are proud to announce that the final report of the project is now available and can be downloaded here.