Project

AQUAEXCEL - AQUAculture infrastructures for EXCELLence in European Fish research

AQUAEXCEL facilitates a coherent development of the aquaculture research facilities for which there is a strong demand from the public and private sectors of aquaculture research, which have to work towards sustainable production of high quality seafood with reduced environmental impact.

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AIM

AQUAEXCEL aims to integrate key aquaculture research infrastructures across Europe, in order to promote their coordinated use and development.

AQUAEXCEL will provide the European aquaculture research community with a platform of top class research infrastructures, integrating on a European scale key aquaculture research infrastructures. The platform will encompass a wide range of production systems including recirculation, flow-through, hatchery, cage, and pond systems. Fish research will be spread across several species including sea bass, sea bream, salmon, cod, trout and common carp. Freshwater, marine, cold, and warm water environments will be representated, as will small, medium and industrial scale settings.

The Challenge

Aquaculture is a pan-European production activity that includes a wide range of fish and mollusc species. It has grown rapidly from a cottage industry in the 1960s into an industrial sector that contributes substantially to the European Union’s goal of becoming the most competitive and dynamic knowledge based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion.

Today, European aquaculture technology is one of the areas where Europe has the edge and can make a difference in the future. Nevertheless, the European aquaculture industry is facing increasing challenges due to a more demanding and selective market combined with competition from outside the EU. These complex challenges require technological solutions that can only be solved with the contribution of high level experts and experienced professionals, and with excellent research facilities, outstanding services, and the right biological resources.

Objectives

AQUAEXCEL aims to integrate key aquaculture research infrastructures across Europe, in order to promote their coordinated use and development.

Methodology

AQUAEXCEL will provide the European aquaculture research community with a platform of top class
research infrastructures, integrating on a European scale key aquaculture research infrastructures. The
platform will encompass a wide range of production systems including recirculation, flow-through,
hatchery, cage, and pond systems. Fish research will be spread across several species including sea
bass, sea bream, salmon, cod, trout and common carp. Freshwater, marine, cold, and warm water
environments will be representated, as will small, medium and industrial scale settings.

Results

  • Access to state-of-the-art aquaculture research infrastructures by research teams who would
    otherwise not normally have access to these facilities.
  • Coordination of key research infrastructures in Europe, creating the basis for joint research projects.
  • An online inventory of key aquaculture research infrastructures, facilities and services.
  • Harmonisation and standardization of resources between partners, notably but not exclusively for
    fish models and experimental methods developed in-house.
  • Transfer of knowledge activities, such as training early-stage researchers and technicians on the latest experimental methods in aquaculture research.