Project: Increasing Echinoderm Value Chains

Acronym InEVal (Reference Number: 101)
Duration 01/04/2020 - 31/03/2023
Project Topic Sea stars, Sea urchins and Sea cucumbers are abundant marine biomass resources that are under developed. Throughout Europe, these Echinoderms are wastefully exploited, disregarded and discarded. Researchers and industry partners in the InEVal project will advance high quality Bioeconomic products and services from echinoderm biomass. InEVal addresses societal demand for new solutions to current challenges for human food, aquafeeds and ecosystem services by: 1) Up-valuing bycatch sea stars from Irish and German inshore shellfish fisheries to highly processed supplements for Salmon, shrimp and Seabass diets using milling, washing and enzymatic fermentation. 2) Improving low-value sea urchins from heavily impacted sea urchin barrens to high quality food for humans for high value niche markets in novel land-based enhancement systems under optimal holding conditions. 3) Seeding and harvesting sea cucumber for site remediation at aquaculture sites that are enriched with nutrients. Sea cucumbers perform a valuable and sustainable site remediation service followed by their utilisation as a high value human food resource. InEVal’s novel products and services serve expanding markets and the industry partners will ensure realistic new value chains are established. Production methodologies will be developed to secure regular supply, as required, to surveyed and confirmed target customers, i.e. to diet formulators at just-in-time standard; to sea urchin consumers outside normal gonadal seasonal bounds; to environmentally aware sea cucumber consumers; and to aquaculture operators aiming to remediate fallowed sites efficiently and sustainably. The InEVal project develops realistic value-added, innovative products and services for the bioeconomy from echinoderm bioresources. Focussing on value and sustainability at every step along the value chain, these resource uses contribute to zero-waste and circular economies while contributing to competitive marine bioeconomy in Europe. PROJECT DESCRIPTION InEVal and
Project Results
(after finalisation)
InEVal approaches diverse echinoderm biomass resources and moves them along highly innovative value chains towards new processes and products for the bioeconomy. New knowledge comes at the earliest step or link in the value-chain in InEVal through the development of sustainable harvesting / collection methods for the low-value biomass offered by sea stars and sea urchins. The key opportunity and advancement herein is obtaining the biomass for up-valuing. However, low impact harvesting of sea stars and sea urchins will also aid to restore natural balances to areas otherwise overwhelmed and disturbed by excess echinoderm biomass, as is the case in the sea urchin barrens and in shellfish aquaculture and fisheries areas overwhelmed by sea stars. Important and relevant societal benefits are expected from. Farming sea cucumbers at impacted aquaculture sites is a novel bioeconomy service that offers bioremediation, plus sea cucumbers as a high-value product. The sea cucumber WP thus represent a somewhat different value chain to sea urchins and sea stars. Biomass harvesting or collection begins at the hatchery or at sites of high natural juvenile abundance. Animal growth at the impacted sites will reduce aquaculture waste impacts and make sites available for aquaculture again sooner. This is an ecosystem service to aquaculture operators.
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Network BlueBio
Call 1st BlueBio Joint Call

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research Coordinator Germany
2 Galway Mayo Institute of Technology Partner Ireland
3 Nofima Tromsø Aquaculture Partner Norway
4 Coastal Management and Research GbR Partner Germany
5 Urchinomics Partner Norway
6 Statsnail AS Partner Norway
7 Marine Institute Partner Ireland
8 ALGAFRES, S.L. Partner Spain
9 Udaras na Gaeltachta Partner Ireland
10 University of Cagliari Partner Italy