First Workshop meeting for AQUASEF Project
On May 5th, a group of aquaculture experts participated in the First Workshop meeting for AQUASEF Project, held in the framework of the conference "New technologies to improve efficiency in the aquaculture sector" organized in Madrid by the Aquaculture Group of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Spanish Technology Platform.
The workshop was developed through group dynamics in order to assess the attractiveness of the use of renewable energies in the aquaculture sector in Spain, as well as to identify, in collaboration with companies in the sector, both critical points and specific actions for implementation. Representatives of Government, research centers and private companies participated actively in the workshop.
Thus, it has opened a space for reflection and discussion, in order to lay the foundations for proper implementation and development of renewable energy in aquaculture, based on the needs, opportunities and challenges identified by the industry itself.
The project aims AQUASEF this first workshop will serve as a starting point for:
- Facilitate innovation and sustainable development of the aquaculture sector.
- Collect industry initiatives and activities in the field of renewable energy , so that they can be used as a source of information and knowledge for the exchange of experiences.
- Create a meeting point for companies in the sector that promotes cooperation and communication between them and towards the European Union.
During the workshop the following opportunities arising from the use of renewable energy in the aquaculture sector were detected:
- Reduction of the carbon footprint of the activity and thus improve the perception by consumers.
- To help improve the social responsibility of the company and therefore its competitiveness.
- Serve as a demonstration stage to other primary sectors that have not tried this technology.
Needs and Challenges
On the other hand, they have revealed a number of requirements regarding the measures to be performed to encourage the use of these clean technologies among companies in the sector; for example, the Administration streamlining formal procedures for installations declaring the use of clean energy, or even evaluating the possibility of considering the use of renewable energy as a positive point in the evaluation criteria for permission assignment for the activity. Among the challenges and critical issues identified during the workshop is how to communicate to consumers the importance of using clean energy in the aquaculture sector as a sustainable production model in order to valorize products. In addition, there is a need for real demonstration projects that allow companies making a right choice about the type of technology to be acquired and implemented in their systems.
In conclusion, from the AQUASEF project it has been found that the agents involved are well aware that the use of renewable energies in the aquaculture sector can be beneficial, not only to save costs but also to improve the image and appreciation of their products. However, it is necessary to undertake a series of actions and initial steps to help reduce the fear among the business community to make significant investments to integrate renewable energy in their production systems. Closer implication from the Administration is also needed for supporting new initiatives arising from the sector.