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The economics of Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture: where are we now and where do we need to go?

The Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA), shows several benefits, such as:

  • reducing the ecological impacts near aquaculture operations,
  • improving social perceptions of aquaculture,
  • to provide financial benefits for aquaculture producers via product diversification, faster production cycles and price premiums on IMTA products.

Knowler and his colleagues in this paper, review aspects of IMTA’s economic potential and market acceptance. They find that adopting IMTA raises the "assimilative capacity" of the farm and reduces the environmental cost of aquaculture, subsequently. Moreover, integrating extractive species (e.g. invertebrates and/or seaweeds), with existing fed-monoculture operations, and increase farm profits. They bring out the presence of positive public attitudes towards IMTA, as a willingness to pay a premium for its products, can further increase the profitability of adopting IMTA. They also suggest fields requiring more economic research are the development of comparative bioeconomic models of IMTA and the evaluation of competitive production systems in order to demonstrate the true value of IMTA to society. In addition, they highlight the need for economic incentives, to foster adoption of IMTA, and the investigation of marketing opportunities, such as the eco-certification of IMTA products.
Their paper aims to inform economists and non-economists alike about the latest developments in IMTA economics and encourage further research on critical topics concerning this important subject.

For more details, see: Knowler et al. (2020) The economics of Integrated Multi‐Trophic Aquaculture: where are we now and where do we need to go? Reviews in Aquaculture, 1-16. 

 

Co-culture of sea bream and grey mullet in an Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture system: a viable strategy to increase production and efficiency of the production model

Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) is defined as a balanced system where the culture of fed organisms (mainly fish and shrimps) is combined with the culture of organic matter extractive species (shellfish, polychaetes, and holothurians) and dissolved inorganic nutrients extractive species (seaweeds). This production model transforms the waste produced by the traditional aquaculture into animal and vegetal biomass.

Researchers of the National Center of Mariculture (NCM) in Eliat, Israel, have conducted a study for evaluating the co-culture of flathead grey mullet (Mugil cephalus) and gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata) in land-based IMTA system to assess the growth, survival, and efficiency on nitrogen assimilation of both species. Grey mullet and sea bream were cultured inthe same tank, sea breams were stocked in floating rectangular cages while grey mullet were stocked directly into the tanks. The sludge generated by seabreams serves as feed for the grey mullets. Parallelly, Sea bream and grey mullet were cultured by separate for comparative purposes. 

Experimental design of co culture seabream and grey mullet in IMTA

Experimental design

 

The growth and survival of sea bream cultured in co-culture tanks were similar to those cultured by separate. On the other hand, the performance of grey mullets cultured in co-culture was lower compared with those cultured by separate. However, from the overall point of view, the co-culture of sea bream and grey mullet increased the biomass of fish by 5.6-8.3%, increase the efficient assimilation of nitrogen by fish in 5.7-8.3%, reduced the feed factor conversion by 12-15% and reduced the amount of sludge by 85% and the amount of nitrogen in the sludge by 98%; nevertheless, the dissolved nitrogen emissions increase by 10%. In addition to the advantages mentioned above, the researches explain that the incorporation of grey mullet in co-culture into the IMTA presents two great advantages more: (i) the sludge treatment costs decrease and (ii) eventually the sales of grey mullet could generate an extra income for the farmers.

For more details, see Shpigel et al. (2016) Nutrient recovery and sludge management in seabream and grey mullet co-culture in Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA). Aquaculture 464, 316-322. 

 

SIMTAP Project on Social Network

You can find SIMTAP Project also on Social Network.

To follow our Social Pages, simply click on the desired Social Network icon from the home page of the Site ("Follow us:") or through the following links:

Through these tools, it will be possible to follow all our updates, interact with us and share our content.

We are waiting for you!