As part of the dissemination activities of the SEA2LAND project, AquaBioTech’s Head of Aquatic Research Facilities Design, Michele Gallo, presented some of our research findings at Aquaculture Europe 2023. The presentation focused on the optimization of solid treatment from wastewater generated from Recirculation Aquaculture Systems (RAS) and showcased some of the results generated by the experiments conducted in AquaBioTech’s facilities.

AquaBioTech Group is an international consulting and technology development company based in Malta, providing consultancy, contract research and RAS development services as well as being a partner of the SEA2LAND consortium. The work was performed by researchers Thanasis Chantzaropoulos, Dannie O’Brien, Giovanni Cusimano, Tamas Eisenbeck, Jui-Che Chiang, Tamas Bardócz and Lidia Paredes Barro.

The study was included in the session ‘Optimising water and solids in RAS’. SEA2LAND project’s initiative aims at establishing processing systems that will provide solutions and overcome challenges related to food production, climate change and waste reuse. Based on the circular economy model, these systems will process wastes from the aquaculture and fisheries sectors to produce fertilisers at a large scale.  These fertilisers are expected to reduce the soil nutrient imbalance across Europe. Some of the objectives are:

  • to develop and scale up technologies for the recovery of nutrients from by-products,
  • to develop the production of bio-based fertilisers with diminished Green House Gas (GHG) emissions,
  • to improve soil fertility and biodiversity
  • to design sustainable and circular exploitation models of these Bio-Based Fertilisers (BBFs)

During his presentation, Michele provided an overview of the trials with wastewater treatment that were carried out in the wet lab facilities of AquaBioTech.  These trials focused on optimising water treatment methods in RAS systems with the use of different components and products.  The optimisation is therefore intended to remove more suspended solids and contaminants from the water in less time, thus, increasing the efficiency of the filtration mechanisms. The composition of the filtered solids is also a critical element of the study as the solids contain nutrients that, if harnessed could be used in a fertilizer by-product.

The keynote speeches for this year’s conference were focused on the responsible use of global resources to produce healthy food, investing in sustainable aquaculture, diversifying production, and breeding for genetic resilience. Most speakers agreed that it is essential for aquaculture to keep moving to more sustainable, healthier and affordable production.

The programme of the meeting included a series of specialised forums for the industry, focusing on aquaculture innovation, for which AquaBioTech, as an exhibitor, was an active participant with several presentations across a number of topics. Thematic workshops and networking opportunities were also provided. The conference featured parallel sessions that covered the full range of European aquaculture scientific disciplines and species. Additionally, an international trade exhibition, industry forum, student sessions and activities, satellite workshops, and updates on EU research were presented.

The next Aquaculture Europe will take place in Copenhagen from the 26th to the 30th of August 2024.