BlueBRIDGE is the new European initiative funded under the H2020 framework to further develop and exploit the iMarine e-Infrastructure data services for an ecosystems approach to fisheries.
BlueBRIDGE’s overall objective is to support capacity building in interdisciplinary research communities actively involved in increasing scientific knowledge about resource overexploitation, degraded environment and ecosystem with the aim of providing a more solid ground for informed advice to competent authorities and to enlarge the spectrum of growth opportunities as addressed by the Blue Growth Societal Challenge.
BlueBRIDGE capitalizes on past investments and uses the proven D4Science infrastructure that counts over 1500 users, integrates more than 50 repositories, executes around 13,000 models and algorithms per month and provides access to over a billion records in repositories worldwide, with 99,7% service availability.
BlueBRIDGE aims to develop innovative services in the following areas:
- Blue Assessment - services for stock assessment and for the generation of unique identifiers for global stocks;
- Blue Economy - services supporting the analysis of socio-economic performance in aquaculture;
- Blue Environment - spatial planning services to identify aquaculture and fisheries infrastructures from satellite imagery;
- Blue Skills - on-line training services and capacity building on existing training modules for fisheries scientists and other practitioners.
How to increase profits and minimize environmental impact with BlueBRIDGE aquafarming services for SMEs
Aquaculture is one of the pillars of the EU’s Blue Growth Strategy and its development can contribute to the Europe 2020 Strategy. Although it represents a relatively small part of the EU economy, it has the potential to boost growth and jobs in EU coastal and inland areas.
In recent years aqua-farming companies have been competing in an extremely low profit margin environment, thus relying on high sales volume to create adequate profits. This landscape leaves little room for inefficient operations. Another major issue is the environmental impact and the environmental sustainability of the production. Aquaculture, in common with many other sectors, uses natural resources and interacts with the environment on issues of environmental protection. Efficient production management and the development of best practices respond to the above needs. It can dramatically help companies, most of which are SMEs, to improve profitability and minimize environmental impacts.
BlueBRIDGE will develop two new services addressing two relevant problems related to this challenge that build one upon the other:
- Performance evaluation, benchmarking and decision making in aquaculture service: providing capacities for companies to evaluate, benchmark and optimize their performance against best practices and the competition, and to extend the capacity of scientific research communities and policy makers to quantify and comprehend aqua-farming industry operation, ensuring sustainability and development of the sector.
- Strategic Investment Analysis and Scientific Planning and Alerting service: supporting investors and scientists in the efficient identification of strategic locations of interest that meet multifactor selection criteria.
- The two new services will be put in practice initially in two domains:
a group of aquafarming SMEs, that have been preselected and will be contributing to the benchmarking and evaluation of their production
- a group of individual stakeholders, not funded by the project, for evaluating potential investment scenarios.
The project is coordinated by ISTI-CNR, and the ERCIM Office provides administrative and financial support.
BlueBridge kick-off meeting participants.
Donatella Castelli, CNR-ISTI