Aquabest met at Jämtland Sweden: Decision makers are listening to our suggestions to develop sustainable aquaculture

Of major importance in Aquabest-project is to raise awareness on the potential of aquaculture to produce healthy, local food and income around our common Baltic Sea region. We are happy to tell that progress have been made, even to the extent of breakthrough in certain regions where politicians actively take on board Aquabest messages on actions needed to develop aquaculture on a sustainable path. This and many other positive signals were lively discussed at Aquabest partner meeting at Jämtland 7.-9.11.2012.

Our Jämtland partners  have produced  a list with all lakes in Jämtland ranked with respect to their suitability for aquaculture. Of these lakes, ten are now subjected to stakeholder consultant actions and water sampling. All municipalities have been visited for consultations and local people and decision makers have been met and discussed with. In Kalmar, the working group has identified and ranked all sea-areas with respect to mussel farming. At Åland Islands, an overview of existing mussel farming manufacturers and technologies, including submerged farms, has been done and a dialogue with manufacturers has been initiated. We were also happy to hear about other past and ongoing spatial planning processes in Denmark, Finland and, lately in Germany as part of the ongoing AQUAFIMA-project. Regarding project collaboration, we also planned several mutual visits and joint events with Aquabest and AQUAFIMA.

Stakeholder roundtable discussions on the Baltic Sea-sourced feeds with fish feed industry, fish farmers, regional authorities and knowledge institutions started at the fruitful Åland Aquaculture Week in October. You can find the presentations both at Aquabest web-pages and at the web-pages of SUBMARINER-project, who jointly organized the event with Aquabest. The Finnish pilot farming of rainbow trout using regional ingredients was conducted during the summer, and currently batches of feed are produced for Arctic charr and turbot, reared at Sweden and Germany.

Danish partners have carried out firsts tests to develop end-of-pipe nitrogen removal systems for brackish water conditions. Reductions have been very good at the Hirtshals pilot system. That very system will be the venue for intensive five days recirculation course next autumn. The course will be advertised early next year and appr. 20 participants will be selected among consultants and fish farmers from all Baltic Sea region countries emphasizing those areas with less experience on recirculation aquaculture. The participants will pay for their travel, but teaching, accommodation and meals will be provided through Aquabest project partner DTU Aqua. Furthermore, during the next 12 months, feasibility study guidelines for Danish model fish farming technology will be field tested at Belarus.

As the icing on the cake, our legal experts are preparing their final steps to compare licensing systems in the Baltic Sea region countries. Legal experts and regional authorities are rapidly moving to the final and most important phase in the project, where incentives will be build into the decision making process thus enabling adoption of new tools for sustainable aquaculture development.

Enthusiastic meeting was hosted by Torsta AB, the Aquabest project partner in Jämtland. At the end of the meeting, one of the expanding cage farming companies were visited in the regulated hydropower dams, while the other half of partners visited a farm that maintains local diverse fish strains for restocking purposes.

Vattudalen 

Photo: Jari Setälä