For the BIORAS_SHRIMP Project, we have 9 work packages

This project aims to develop and test an innovative bio-secure, land based sustainable shrimp culture model to minimise waste, enhance productivity and recover energy and nutrient for additional biomass production, in view of a circular economy process. The application of the bio-system principles (food first, sustainable yields, cascading approach, circularity and diversity) is at the backbone of the research approach and methodology proposed. The expected results are: Set-up of a clear water RAS for shrimp culture with improved technology and husbandry efficiency; Development and test of a hybrid RAS-BFT farming system; Installation and validation of an innovative RAS effluent treatment system; test and validation of an Artificial Intelligence based water quality monitoring system; Development and test of innovative protocols for effluent solid waste and residual water reuse and valorisation; Exploration of new bio- resources deriving from the additional biomass produced. All outcomes have high industrial and commercial impact on several economic sectors while addressing global challenges, making the EU more sustainable and competitive.

Work Package 1

Coordination and project management

This WP will take care of the general management of the project, including the consortium and the RRI (Responsible Research and Innovation) issues management. Its activity involves all the Partners and encompasses all the other WPs.

The main objectives of this work package are to manage and coordinate efficient collaboration and communication among partners to guarantee high work quality standards and to achieve the expected impact.

The management of the project includes the almost permanent relation with the Blue Bio Eranet cofund call Secretariat, in order to ensure the advancement along a straight path, excluding thus the risk of deviations from the main purpose of the call.

Work Package 2

RAS Technology Optimization

Two experimental Clear Water mini-RAS will be designed and built in Norway and Malta. A detailed characterisation of the water quality, in the different sectors of the system for at least 1 full production cycle will be scheduled. Data on water physical (T, water flux, tank hydrology), chemical (Oxygen, pH, nutrient load, off-flavours) and biological parameters, in relation to the rearing conditions, will be gathered. Particular attention will be given to the morphological characterization of the settable and suspended solid particles, with special emphasis on those fractions that might alter the system efficiency. One specific task is devoted to the development and application of a high precision monitoring and control system based on the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI). All information acquired will be used to improve the production scale Clear Water RAS at a shrimp farm in Italy.

Work Package 3

RAS Husbandry Optimization

Rearing trials for shrimp production, from post-larvae stage to market size individuals, will be designed according to different experimental conditions. In particular, the relative number of individuals (n/m3) and final biomass (Kg/m3) will be the driving parameters considered in order to identify  the most efficient condition to achieve the highest production with the lowest input of energy (electricity, feed, man power). The physiological status (well-being) of the reared animal and the quality of the final product will be checked by measuring specific chemical, bio-chemical (marker enzymes) and biological indicators. Trials will be first conducted at mini-RAS scale and then in a full production scale at real-size scale.

Work Package 4

Effluent Treatment System Optimization

This WP focuses on the characterization of the effluent streams produced at different different experimental conditions and the development of methodologies to treat it. Both the content of solid particles (suspended and settable) and the dissolved nutrients (N, P, C in the various forms) will be analyzed. New natural bio-coagulants and bio-flocculants will be screened to remove the colloidal part, promote a faster thickening of the solid component (sludge) and facilitate the separation from the residual water.. An AI-based water quality monitoring system will be developed and applied at a pilot scale.

Work Package 5

Additional Biomass Integrated Production

This WP focuses on the use of the sludge and the recovery of dissolved nutrients to produce additional valuable biomass in the system. 

Stabilization of the sludge will be optimized and its use as a fertilizer will be tested. Its agronomic value and the content of any potential harmful components will be assessed. The sludge efficacy as a fertiliser, will be tested through pot and field trials. The use of the nutrient-enriched water to grow microalgae (or other aquatic species) will be investigated. All data will be used to design and run an on-site test of large-scale microalgae culture. A final task aims at the integration of aquaponic and biofloc technologies into the RAS. 

Work Package 6

Biomolecules Characterization and Test

Extracts produced by the algal biomass selected in WP5 will be analyzed. A complete qualitative and quantitative analysis of the secondary metabolites will be performed. The bioactivity will be examined by using chemical, biochemical and microbiological assays. Specific pharmacological activities with relevance to human health will be assessed by using established in vitro models, to explore their potential nutraceutical and cosmeceutical effect. Safety profiles, and combinations with other known bioactive molecules for synergic/complementary activities will be assessed. All data will be used to design a proof of concept for a bioactive microalgae-based product for the development of a potential marketable formulation.

Work Package 7

Data Integration and Life Cycle Analyses (LCA)

Data produced will be collected to create inventories of the relevant processes (e.g. energy use, infrastructure, material inputs, biomass yields, transport, etc.). The contribution of the inventoried processes towards various environmental impacts will then be calculated using an appropriate impact assessment model. LCAs will be used in decision making as a tool to improve product design, for example the choice of materials, the selection of technologies, specific design criteria and when considering recycling. The results will provide industrial users and producers information of the benefits of establishing these new processes.

Work Package 8

Training Activities

BIORAS_SHRIMP Consortium has set a specific WP dedicated to the organization of a training course based on the results achieved during the project lifetime. The course, through theoretical sessions and practical demonstration, will describe the general management of the shrimp culture RAS, including the effluent treatment system, additional biomass production and by-products, co-products and side-products potential utilisation and valorisation. The course will be open for attendance by researchers, technicians, representatives of aquaculture producers and NGOs.

Work Package 9

Communication and Dissemination

The results and reports produced will be available on this website and on dedicated social media pages.[DSP-AG1]

Activities addressed to special key-players will be organized. The project will be presented at the Blue Bio Eranet cofund, at relevant scientific cconferences and at national/international exhibitions and fairs. Divulgative articles and scientific papers (open access) will be produced. Moreover, a manual on RAS and effluent treatment system management will be published.