iFishIENCi Biology Online Steering System to support sustainable aquaculture 

Maximising feed utilisation through smart feeding and breakthrough innovations supporting sustainable aquaculture with the EU project – iFishIENCi.  

A new EU funded project is bringing together multiple partners in a trans-disciplinary effort towards making genuine improvements to fish farming worldwide. Creatively named iFishIENCithe project’s full title is Intelligent fish feeding through integration of enabling technologies and circular principles.” Using advanced digital information technology, iFishiENCi is developing a Biology Online Steering System (iBOSS), which will monitor all aspects of fish and their environment critical for healthy, sustainable farmed fish. The iFishIENCi project is also developing novel feed feeds based upon more sustainable ingredients.  

Fish aquaculture is essential for providing healthy food to a growing world population, but its success depends upon our ability to find more sustainable farming practices. This means more effective ways of monitoring fish-health and welfare, as well as more efficient ways of feeding fish that reduce pressure upon the source of fish-feed ingredients, such as agricultural crops and wild-caught fish for fishmeal and oil. iFishIENCi iBOSS technology is being designed to significantly advance these required achievements. Through providing accurate, real-time data, iBOSS will enable producers to quickly make robust decisions from a holistic, integrated management approach. New iFishiENCi feed formulations will help maintain quality fish growth, using ingredients made from recycled, organic resources, reducing dependency on protein from wild-caught fish. 

Maria Jose Amaral, Research Programme Officer from the European Commission said “We are hoping that the iFishIENCi project will develop new innovations, which will contribute to a sustainable aquaculture sector and will lead to growth and provide jobs. We also hope it will contribute to more efficient and resilient practices, while conserving natural sources and contribute to climate change mitigation. Moreover, we expect it will contribute to improve consumer awareness and accept the ability of aquaculture products and support the implementation and development of EU and International policies.” 

Tamas Bardocz, iFishIENCi project coordinator said, “We believe that our project will deliver breakthrough innovations, supporting sustainable aquaculture based upon enabling technologies and circular principles. It will provide a competitive advantage and growth stimulation for the European aquaculture industry needed to improve global efficiency of fish production and meet the demands of society for food from marine and freshwater environments.” 

Catherine Boccardo, from iFishIENCi partner NORCE said, “the project will target circular principles and zero waste by qualifying new and sustainable value chains for feeds, valorisation of by-products and development of smart feeding technology. It will provide important new assets for the consortium’s SMEs, fish farmers, feed producers and technology providers in the aquaculture sector. It will lead to market growth, job creation and to a more sustainable aquaculture industry.” 

Lars Ebbesson, also from iFishIENCi partner NORCE said “iFishIENCi will provide several enabling technology products to the market improving production control and management for all fish aquaculture systems. It will maximise feed utilisation through smart feeding, provide continuous monitoring of fish behavior health and welfare and reduce response time to aberrations.” 

The project was officially opened on the 4th and 5th of December in Malta and continued with a WP1 workshop on the 6th of December. The iFishIENCi project includes 17 partners from all over Europe with the coordination of the AquaBioTech Group.  

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 818036.