The SiteSEA project partners aim to increase the profitability of onshore aquaculture in Flanders. They have two avenues in mind to achieve this: on the one hand, reduce the costs by using industrial residual flows, and on the other hand, generate additional income via blue tourism.
Oct 2022 - May 2023
DBC project

The SiteSEA project explores new forms of onshore marine aquaculture that allow for the integration of blue tourism in the business model. More specifically, the project will start from the cultivation of thicklip grey mullet - whose flavour is similar to that of sea bass and salmon - in combination with the cultivation of saline vegetables.

Industrial residual flows will be used to reduce the cultivation costs. The integration of these residual flows, new cultivation species and new experience technologies will make a visit to a nursery interesting for a wide audience. Both elements can have a positive effect on the profitability of landbased aquaculture. 

In this context, the SiteSEA consortium will investigate the technical, economic and social feasibility by means of desk top studies, initial cultivation tests, interviews and workshops. The project should answer the following questions, among others:

  • Is the thicklip grey mullet a suitable species to cultivate in a recirculation aquaculture system (RAS) and market as a commercial product?
  • Can the selected saline vegetables be cultivated in a salt water aquaponic system?
  • How can the integrated cultivation of thicklip grey mullet and saline vegetables technically be achieved?
  • How can industrial residual flows such as CO2 and low-calorific residual heat be integrated in the cultivation concepts and how does this affect the costs?
  • Which visualisation technology guarantees a high sense of experience without having to compromise on biosecurity? What experience are the various target groups looking for?
  • What marketing scenarios are possible for various target groups? How can these target groups be attracted to the site?
  • What additional investment is needed to achieve the integration of tourism in a nursery? What revenues are possible with this integration?

If this feasibility study results in a technically and economically feasible concept, an investment will be made in a follow-up project that should allow the evaluation and further optimisation of the SiteSEA concept in a real-life environment.

Partners: Bert Groenendaal Consulting, Biostoom Oostende, The Outsider Coast, Poppr and ILVO 

With the support of: VLAIO (Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship) 

Contact: Jurgen Adriaen

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