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International Research Fellowship Program: Integrated Multiptrophic Aquaculture In Norway


<p>0852892JoyceThis award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).The International Research Fellowship Program enables U.S. scientists and engineers to conduct nine to twenty-four months of research abroad. The program's awards provide opportunities for joint research, and the use of unique or complementary facilities, expertise and experimental conditions abroad. This award will support a twenty-four-month research fellowship by Dr. Alyssa Joyce to work with Dr. Bernt Aarset at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in Norway. This study examines economic costs and benefits of Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) production in salmon, mussel and kelp culturing systems. IMTA is an innovative approach to sustainable aquaculture that involves the co-culturing of filter feeders, finfish, and macro- and microalgae in ways that exploit the benefits of interspecies interactions and internal nutrient recycling within fed aquaculture system. In conventional salmon farm monocultures, feed constitutes approximately half the cost of production, and IMTA offers a means by which waste by-products from feed may be recycled as nutrient inputs at lower trophic levels for the production of bivalves and seaweed. From an economic perspective, IMTA may be able to diversify production and increase overall production value of existing finfish farms without significant capital investment, while reducing waste production of conventional finfish farming. Preliminary research indicates that IMTA can provide a profitable and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional finfish farming, with the potential to transform aquaculture in much the same way that organic farming has transformed the agriculture sector. This study use economic and environmental data to develop quantitative economic evaluations of an experimental IMTA prototype, in order to assess the potential for IMTA to serve economic goals for industry profitability and resilience through horizontal integration. Using data from economic analyses, the study examines the market feasibility of incorporating IMTA into the existing salmon and shellfish aquaculture industries in Norway. The study also characterizes a range of stakeholder attitudes, regulatory policies, and environmental risks and benefits of IMTA, thereby providing quantitative and qualitative data for scientists, policymakers, industry, and the public to assess the feasibility and desirability of developing IMTA in Norway, and, by extension, IMTA in other countries.</p>

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