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Aquatic biomass is an undervalued sidestream of considerable size in Europe: around 1.5 million tonnes per year. Three-quarters of these are currently used for low-value applications such as animal feed, or are processed as waste.
Editorial office / Brussels

The European project WaSeaBi wants to change that. In this project, an interdisciplinary team of 13 partners from Denmark, Sweden, Spain, France and Belgium is working together on the development and testing of high-quality new products and ingredients from by-products coming from aquaculture, fishing and the fish processing industry. Examples are protein-based food ingredients, aromatic ingredients and mineral supplements for food and feed.

Sustainable exploitation

The WaSeaBi-team will assess the commercial potential of the ingredients produced and quantify the ecological, economic and social consequences. The project also focuses on the realization of an efficient and sustainable supply system for by-catches and side streams from aquaculture, fishery and the processing industry. This is necessary to make industrial exploitation possible. Among other things, it looks at storage solutions, sorting technologies and decision-making instruments.

‘With this project, we want to help the industry exploit their raw materials much better and in a more sustainable manner. We need to find ways to make the most of the resources that are available so that ultimately we are able to produce more food for the world’s growing population’, says Charlotte Jacobsen, project coordinator and Head of the Research Group for Bioactives – Analysis and Application at the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark.

The project was launched with a partner meeting on 21-22 May in Copenhagen and runs until May 2023. It has a total project budget of over € 4 million, of which more than € 3 million is funded by the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) ).

The aquatic sector in Europe accounts for 122,000 jobs and 5.1 million tonnes of seafood per year, generating a total annual turnover of almost € 28 billion.