The Seaweed Manifesto: an initiative to develop the seaweed sector in a sustainable way.

The Seaweed Manifesto, initiated by the Lloyds Register Foundation and UN Global Compact (United Nation), has been launched. This seaweed manifesto is a visionary document outlining how seaweed can contribute to delivering on the sustainable development goals. It defines a vision for the industry, explores the opportunities and benefits, as well as outlining the challenges and barriers for responsible development of the industry. The focus is on the untapped potential, which might not be met without new thought-leadership and convening power to improve knowledge and expertise, develop new funding initiatives and influence policy makers, regulators and consumers.

You could find more information about the Seaweed Manifesto here.

The crisis caused by the Covid-19 in France

In France, to cope with the crisis caused by the Covid-19, the shellfish industry, already in difficulty after a Christmas season marked by a high impact health episode, is demanding a rescue plan.


A letter co-signed by thirty deputies was sent to the Prime Minister to request a rescue plan for the sector.

Due to the crisis, professionals suffer an important scissors effect :

– Because of the closing of markets and restaurants, suspended exportations, the consumption collapsed, creating an average loss of about 80% of the usual turnovers. Direct sales have been too weak to sell the goods.

– The professionals have not been able to resort partial unemployment system: the shellfish, as a living organism, pursued its growth, forcing the professionals to work on the parks even if they couldn’t sell the product.

The collapsed sales, the longer water cycle, the professionals are left with an important stock, less valorized in terms of product size, which weigh on the cash and force the professionals to sell below cost.

So, they wish to benefit from a plan integrating an exemption from social charges to rescue the sector.

In Brittany, an historical meeting of all the sea professionals took place on June the 3rd in Concarneau to speak on one voice and find solutions. Innovating actions are launched with the creation of a Breizhmer Pack to play together and be more efficient and the launch of a Breton ecolabel to encourage consumers to privilege Breton products in taking advantage of the good image of Brittany. This is a good time to launch this ecolabel with a strong interest in the consumers for local and responsible purchasing.

Finally, reassurance news for consumers: a study from Ifremer validate the absence of covid-19 in oysters and mussels.


Nurturing Green Shoots in the Irish Sea

As the Irish Fishing Industry continues to deal with ­the fall-out from the Covid-19 crisis, its essential that landings are tailored to available markets, and catches are optimised to make best use of available resources.


By Dr Ronán Cosgrove, Fisheries Conservation Manager, BIM

While Nephrops exports remain hampered due to the Italian market collapse, sales of demersal fish species are faring slightly better. As Industry reliance on such species increases, it is imperative that unwanted catches – formerly known as discards – are minimised to boost fish stock sustainability and to maximise economic returns on available quotas.

As outlined in BIM’s recent ‘The Business of Seafood 2019’, the Celtic Sea is the stronghold for Irish demersal fish landings. Following a steady decline since the 1980’s, there are signs of green shoots in the Irish Sea where haddock is the most important commercial fish species. The Marine Institute stock book shows that average haddock landings of 513 t from 2013 to 2015 increased by 75% to 898 t from 2016 to 2018. This is likely linked to a substantial 56% reduction in the haddock discard rate over the same period. Whiting discards also dropped by 48% so a pattern emerges:

Most discarding traditionally occurred in the Neprops fishery in the Irish Sea. In 2014, BIM and Industry demonstrated significant 70% and 52% reductions in haddock and whiting catches with an enlarged 300 mm square-mesh escape panel. This led to comprehensive uptake of this measure in the Irish Sea from 2016 onwards and it looks like the benefits are starting to accrue.

While the Nephrops fleet can take a bow, the directed haddock fishery which accounts for around 70% of Irish Sea haddock landings is the main beneficiary from the success of this conservation measure. The directed fishery stands to gain even more if a new proposed gear measure is implemented. Irish vessels currently use a 120 mm diamond-mesh codend to target haddock in the Irish Sea. Previous work by BIM and Industry demonstrated the benefits of using 100 mm T90 mesh for haddock in the Celtic Sea so it made sense to examine if similar findings would apply in the Irish Sea.

Led by BIM’s Martin Oliver, a trial was conducted in the Irish Sea in March 2020 to compare catches between these gears. The T90 codend reduced undersize haddock by 41% and retained similar small quantities of whiting and cod compared with the 120 mm codend. A reduction in quantities and value of small market sized haddock was offset by increased catches of plaice and other prime species in the T90 codend. A simple economic analysis demonstrated a 64% increase in total catch value with the T90 before the monthly haddock quota was fully utilised. Large grade haddock were scarce on the grounds during the trial. We know from previous work that T90 codends consistently catch more large grade haddock when they are available. T90 also improves catch quality and further Industry-led testing is planned to demonstrate the benefits of this gear first-hand. In the meantime, an application has been submitted to the European Commission to permit use of this gear in the Irish Sea. If successful, Industry uptake of the T90 codend would further boost stock sustainability and economic returns in the increasingly important Irish Sea haddock fishery.

BIM would like to thank the owner and crew of the trial vessel for a fruitful collaboration. Their names are excluded due to use of economic data. A full trial report is available at

FEEDNETICS Webinar organized by SPAROS

SPAROS orgnized a free FEEDNETICSTM Webinar for academic users, that took place on the 1st and 2nd of July. FEEDNETICSTM is a prediction tool for fish farmers and aquafeed formulators and can be now used also by the academia to assist planning and management of nutrition growth trials, aquafeed formulation and general research about the effects of different diet formulations in fish performance. You can now replay this webinar on youtube through the links: Part 1 and Part 2.

MAR2020 supports environmentally sustainable aquaculture projects

The Sea is of particular importance in Portugal and should be viewed through an integrated approach addressing all its potentialities, resources and challenges. The development and sustainability of the economy of the Sea is a unique opportunity for Portugal. MAR2020 operational programme is supporting and promoting environmentally sustainable, resource efficient, innovative, competitive and knowledge-based aquaculture. 

The main objective of the MAR 2020 Operational Programme (PO MAR 2020), approved by the European Commission for the implementation of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund throughout Portugal, is to implement the Common Fisheries Policy, fostering the sustainable development of coastal zones and promoting the implementation of the Integrated Maritime Policy. MAR 2020 contributes to enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs in the sector, promoting sustainable, quality employment and support for worker mobility, the transition to a low carbon economy, the conservation and protection of the environment and promoting the efficient use of resources. Explore some of the many aquaculture projects being implemented under the MAR 2020 programme through the LINK.


The CIIMAR PhD students’ committee is organizing the first CIIMAR students meeting entitled Blue Think Conference: Share Science, Spread Knowledge. Our aim is to gather all students affiliated with our institute in a casual and relaxed environment to share the outputs of our works. The presentations will be divided into three sessions that will be framed in the scope of CIIMAR three main research lines, each session will count with the presence of renowned scientists who will talk about their scientific careers, professional experiences and most important work achievements.

This event will take place on 17th September 2020, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. Considering the current Covid-19 situation, we are now preparing to host the event on an online streaming platform and simultaneously in the CIIMAR main building.

Submission of abstracts and registration are open until july 17!


Please see the conference website to check all the information, if you have any doubts do not hesitate in sending us an e-mail