External Organisations

  • Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, Finland
  • The Government of Åland, Finland
  • Jämtland County Council, Sweden
  • Lund University, Sweden
  • Swedish Board of Agriculture, Sweden
  • Polish Trout Breeders Association, Poland
  • Institute of Food Safety, Animal Health and Environment, Latvia
  • Belarusian State Agricultural Academy, Belarus
  • Danish Aquaculture Organisation, Denmark
  • Association of Marine Aquaculture Ltd, Germany
  • Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institute, Germany
  • University of Tartu, Estonia
  • University of Helsinki, Finland

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In opposite to the global trend, aquaculture production in the Baltic Sea region has stagnated. It is widely accepted that aquaculture has great potential to feed the growing human population in the era of declining wild stocks ("Blue Revolution"), but new production has to be built on sustainable practices and technologies. The European Union has identified this challenge and has adopted aquaculture as a flagship project in the EU strategy for the Baltic Sea region.

Firstly, AQUABEST will demonstrate that Baltic Sea region aquaculture is capable of becoming a nutrient neutral food production system. This will be achieved by replacing oceanic feed ingredients and plant products harvested at other continents with regional feed ingredients. Potential regional ingredients include Baltic Sea fish catches and Baltic Sea grown mussels not used for human consumption, as well as plant proteins and single cell proteins produced and processed in the region.

Secondly, AQUABEST will adapt lessons from maritime spatial planning projects, develop them into guidelines and by regional testing demonstrate that spatial planning tools can be adapted to create environmentally, economically and socially sustainable aquaculture. Spatial planning will be completed by activities that will support farmers to move fish cages offshore and which will support mussel farmers to adapt technologies that tolerate harsh winter conditions in the northern Baltic Sea.

New farming technologies using recirculating water have been developed especially in Denmark. The third solution of AQUABEST is to transfer these technologies to other regions and further develop them to adapt to brackish water conditions of the Baltic Sea. Furthermore, although recirculation farms already release much less nutrients in the effluent than conventional farms, nitrogen release of these farms can be further diminished.As the final outcome, AQUABEST will carry out regional self-evaluation of present environmental regulation models in aquaculture. A novel ecosystem-based regulation needs new approach, environmental policy instruments and economic incentives. Concrete improvements are proposed after dialogue between major stakeholders.

The project is coordinated by Finish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, Finland.


  • Research area: Aquaculture - Rearing Systems and Environmental Effects


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