Apr 8, 2021
EU backs 11-country effort for fertilizer from fishery waste

The European Union is backing a project to produce agricultural fertilizers from fisheries waste.

Sea2Land graphicThe project, called Sea2Land, is a 4-year collaborative project funded with 7.7 million euros by the EU in its Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, according to a news release. It started in January 2021 and the 11-country effort is being coordinated by NEIKER, the Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development.

The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, aka FiBL Europe is one of the supporting partners, according to the release. Other partners include Ghent University, and Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (University of Liège).

“The SEA2LAND project aims at overcoming challenges related to food production, climate change and waste reuse through the use of organic waste streams,” according to the release. “To this end, the SEA2LAND project will work on improving and adaptingnutrient recovery technologies to produce bio-based fertilizers from fish and aquaculture processing by-products.”

SEA2LAND will optimize and combine technologies and processes (e.g. advanced composting, bio-drying, freeze concentration and extraction, algae production, pyrolysis, membrane technology, chitin extraction, thermo-mechanical fractionation, enzymatic hydrolysis) to generate bio-based and tailor-made fertilizers, both for local crops and export, according to the release.

The basis of the project is the regional production of bio-based fertilizers within a local and circular framework through the development of demonstration pilots that can be replicated across Europe, according to the release. The project proposes the realization of more than 7 case studies, applying 10 different technologies in 6 representative areas of the fisheries sector (North, Baltic, Atlantic, Cantabrian or North Spain, Mediterranean and Adriatic Sea).

SEA2LAND brings together 26 partners from 11 countries (ten European countries and Chile). Ghent University takes the lead on quality and safety assessment of final products that might have a potential to be used as bio-based fertilizers, according to the release. FiBL Europe will assess the compliance of these fertilizers for use in organic farming as well as provide a support in the dissemination of project results. Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech will test the most promising bio-based fertilizers for their performance in agro-systems (in collaboration with BRIOAA) and in anticipated future climatic scenario, using the modern Ecotron facilities of Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech.

The project also involves industry and farmer`s associations as well as consultancy experts for aquaculture, fisheries, environmental management and dissemination, and business plan development.

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