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Tools for Assessment and Planning of Aquaculture Sustainability

Implementation Period:
Specific Funding Programme:

 Horizon 2020 SFS-2015-2

About the Project:

TAPAS is a four year study designed to investigate the current limits to fish farming, the social interactions, environmental impacts and future risks in an aim to create cost efficient management tools and practices for the aquaculture sector across Europe by supporting transparent and efficient licensing, enhancing environment sustainability and aquatic food security while tapping into the potential for food production and employment.

Through collaboration and participation of RTDs with stakeholders and end-users, partners will identify sustainability requirements set by existing regulatory and licensing approaches, and identify possible bottlenecks hampering cost-efficient practices. This will be achieved by reviewing present regulations and license practices at national and EU level. The practical use of existing tools for carrying capacity assessment, EIA, and management among different users also will be reviewed to identify the utility of existing sustainability tools and the need for new decision support methods and frameworks.

The critical analysis of existing tools and technologies will provide a base to develop new models and decision systems appropriate for a farm, water body, and regional scale studies as well as for polyculture and integrated systems (IMTA). These new tools will target offshore, coastal and inland aquaculture throughout the EU.

TAPAS will also assess the environmental services provided by European aquaculture through an ecosystems services cascade framework that, by the combination of an ecosystem and economic modeling, will provide metrics for assessing the quality, quantity, and values of potential benefits obtained from aquaculture.

TAPAS consists of a tightly integrated set of nine work packages. Project management (WP1) and Project integration (WP2) represent interlinking and continuous components of the structure while the core activities (WP’s 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7) will generate new data, tools and approaches contributing to the resulting Sustainability Toolbox (WP8).  Dissemination of the project outcomes will be auctioned through WP9 which will address outreach, training, and exploitation of project outcomes.

TAPAS Project Flowchart

To strengthen management practices and develop cost-efficient management tools, the project will evaluate existing and develop new in situ real-time surveillance technologies for physical, ecological and chemical water quality parameters, including a use of novel bio- and optical sensors. These methods will be tested through a series of case studies across all aquaculture sectors and practices to continuously monitor key parameters for resource use and impact assessment of aquaculture.

Project outputs will be incorporated into a TAPAS Aquaculture Sustainability Toolbox, based on existing and newly developed models and approaches. The second key objective is to create a flexible TAPAS Decision Support Framework (TAPAS-smart) to investigate carrying capacity categories of freshwater and marine aquaculture in terms of recent regulation, policies, and indicators of sustainability while remaining focused on the most relevant problems of the aquaculture industry in the EU.

project partners