Last 13th of April, our French partners, CATAR CRITT AGRORESSOURCES (Centre d’Application et de Traitement des AgroRessources) and CAPA (Chambre d’Agriculture des Pyrénées-Atlantiques) organized a half-day presentation in Tarbes about the Atlantic pilot, presenting concrete solutions for processing aquaculture and fishery by-products to produce biofertilizers.

The first presentation was made by Christine Raynaud, Director of CATAR, who gave an overview of the SEA2LAND project. The consortium of different partners was presented, as well as the key issues of nutrient recovery, the circular economy and the contribution to the EU’s independence in terms of nutrient requirements for agriculture. The organization of the project into work packages was outlined, and the various fertilizer production demonstration pilots developed during the project were briefly described.

Next, Jean-Luc Lafargue, Director of Territorial Development at CAPA, presented the French co-product pool for aquaculture and fisheries, focusing in particular on the different production volumes for aquaculture and oyster farming, and the volumes of co-products derived from these productions. Although some co-products already have a commercial application, a large proportion currently remains unused and represents a loss for fish farmers.

After that, the needs of agriculture in the EU were presented by Patrice Mahieu, in charge of Agronomy at CAPA. The various sources were discussed, with emphasis on the non-renewable nature of synthetic fertilizers using phosphorus and potassium. Preliminary results on nutrient deficiencies in EU soils, underline the importance of the project. The method for assessing the agronomic and environmental performance of biofertilizers consists of laboratory characterization, followed by pot evaluation and finally field evaluation, comparing the various “pilot” batches with “conventional” fertilizer and an unfertilized control.

Finally, the Atlantic zone demonstration pilot was presented by Laure Candy, R&D engineer at CATAR. For this study, the focus was on rainbow trout heads and trimmings raised by the Ispeguy fish farm. After grinding, they are fed into a twin-screw extruder to produce a continuous solid, moist extrudate and a filtrate, made up of three phases.

At the end of the presentation, all participants took part in the discussion, the aim of which was to identify the main obstacles and levers for the emergence of this new sector. A summary of the pilot was presented, in the form of a short film that you can watch it below.