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Nuevo proceso de cultivo integrado de especies marinas


Oferta Tecnológica
Una universidad española ha desarrollado un procedimiento para combinar el cultivo de especies marinas en el mismo lugar (acuicultura multitrófica integrada). El principal cultivo puede ser cualquier especie empleada en acuicultura y el segundo implica el cultivo de anfípodos que se alimentan de residuos generados por el primer cultivo. La principal ventaja es la rentabilidad del proceso: la misma infraestructura se utiliza para el cultivo de otra especie. Las especies adicionales (anfípodos) forman parte de la dieta natural de los peces y pueden procesarse para el consumo humano. La tecnología ha sido probada en instalaciones acuícolas con resultados óptimos. La universidad busca empresas interesadas en establecer acuerdos de licencia o cooperación técnica.


Innovative process of integrated culture of marine species
A Spanish university has developed a procedure for combining marine species culture in the same place (integrated multi-trophic aquaculture). The main culture may be any of the species used in aquaculture and the second one involves the culture of amphipods that feeds on waste generated by the main culture. The main advantage is the cost-effectiveness of this procedure: the same infrastructure is raising an additional specie. Companies for license or technical cooperation agreements are sought.
The culture of amphipods and their use as potential trophic resource for other marine species, both as live prey and in the form of flour, has been widely studied because of their high commercial potential.

However, commercialization of amphipods has not become popular yet due to the management costs related to its development on land tanks and the cleaning and maintenance costs. To achieve adequate levels of profitability is necessary to collect large quantities of amphipods and to reduce costs. The procedure proposed by a Spanish research group solves these problems and increase the profitability of this product.

A Spanish research group has developed a new procedure based within the concept of Integrated Multitrophic Aquaculture (IMTA). This aims to combine the culture of a main species with other species capable of exploiting the waste generated by the main culture.

The main species may be any of those typically grow on marine aquaculture facilities which are fed with feed pellets. Part of these pellets are not totally consumed and are lost through fish cages to the marine environment.

The innovation driven by the researchers lies in the use of natural production, favoring the growth of other species such as amphipods which take advantage of this food wasted.

This requires finding native species capable to adapt to local conditions in offshore facilities, as those forming the so-called fouling (marine organisms developed on artificial surfaces such as concrete, wood or plàstic when they are submerged in the sea). Amphipods have been selected as the most appropriate organisms for their use in this IMTA system since they meet the established requirements and have an appropriate commercial value.

The culture system of amphipods is very easy. It is based on a series of structures with specific characteristics placed outside the sea cages. Amphipods are set naturally on these structures and develop their populations feeding on surplus feed (used to feed the main species). These structures are removed periodically from the cages, and amphipods are extracted following a specific protocol on the platform or once on land.

The main advantage of this technology is the cost-effectiveness of implementing this procedure in sea cages because with the same investment and infrastructure is raising an additional species reusing existing waste and diversifying production.

The additional species (amphipods) are part of the natural diet of fish and it can be processed to be used for human consumption.

The technology can be interesting for aquaculture companies. The Spanish research group is interested in transfer the technology (licensing agreement) to companies and technical cooperation agreements to adapt their traditional monocultive aquaculture infrastructures to integrated multi-trophic aquaculture infraestructures.
Advantages and Innovations:
Among the numerous advantages of this IMTA system, the most noticeable is the cost-effectiveness of the culture of several marine species in the same place. Additionally, no increase of quantity of food is necessary since amphipod species feeds on the waste of the first species.

Moreover, the culture of amphipods coupled to the main culture has the following advantages:

· Diversification of the production and extraction of a second product with high nutritional value and great commercial potential, developing a multi-trophic culture as is promoted by the EU.
· Higher use of the existing marine infrastructure because the new procedure can be implemented in conventional cages incorporating some minor adaptations.
· Reduction of the environmental impact as it is integrated into the marine environment in a natural way.
· The species are perfectly adapted to offshore conditions because they are naturally present and the culture is carried out in the same marine environment.
· Saving in energy costs, since previous pilot culture of amphipods have been made in tanks on land, which implies a considerable reduction of maintenance, oxygenation and water purification costs.
· Diminution of the need for new licenses for aquaculture activities in the marine environment.
· Simplicity of the collection system which does not require major infrastructure or complex treatments.

The main innovation is the use of a relatively simple procedure to achieve other marine product at the same time than traditional cultured species, using the same aquaculture facilities and without additional feeding. The design of the collector created by the Spanish research group allows that amphipods settle and grow on them and facilitates the subsequent removal of amphipods.
Stage of Development:
Prototype available for demonstration
Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted
CommeR Statunts Regarding IPR Status:
Spanish patent applied for but not yet granted

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
Type of partner sought: companies.
Specific area of activity of the partner: Marine aquaculture.
Task to be performed:
- Acquisitions of the technology through licensing agreement. -
- Technical cooperation agreements to adapt the technology to their needs.


Type and Size of Client:
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
Languages Spoken:


Technology Keywords:
07003003 Ciencias marinas
10004009 Medio ambiente marino
07003 Recursos marinos, industrias pesqueras