Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) is a practice in which the by-products (wastes) from one species are recycled to become inputs (fertilizers, food and energy) for another. SRSL supply consultancy services in the planning, implementation and optimisation of Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) projects for improved revenue and sustainability.
The major benefit of IMTA is the ability to reduce wastage while producing new cash-crops, ultimately resulting in improved operational sustainability. In Scotland, there is no legal barrier to licensing of integrated aquaculture operations, and several licences have already been granted.
- Category: Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture
When IMTA is implemented correctly, fed aquaculture species (e.g. finfish/shrimps) are grown alongside selected organic extractive species (e.g. suspension feeders/deposit feeders/herbivorous fish) and inorganic extractive species (e.g. seaweeds). For example, the wastes emitted from the cage culture of salmon would be assimilated by shellfish and seaweed, which are also of commercial value. The major benefit of IMTA is the ability to reduce wastage while producing new cash-crops, ultimately resulting in improved operational sustainability.
The real potential of IMTA is most clearly being demonstrated in Canada at present, where multiple projects have now sprung up on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. However, Chile, China, South Africa, United States of America and the United Kingdom also have IMTA systems at or near commercial scale. Those in the UK exist only in Ireland and Scotland. But in Scotland, unlike several other countries, there is no legal barrier to licensing of integrated aquaculture operations, and several licences have already been granted.
IMTA ADVICE FROM SRSL
IMTA systems need to be expertly planned and engineered as complete systems, rather than as clusters of different crops, to maximise the benefits of the complementing ecological functions of the different species toward the profitability of the entire operation. SRSL provides consultancy support in the several key areas for optimised implementation of IMTA.
SRSL is the trading subsidiary of the research institute The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) in Oban, Scotland. SAMS operates at the cutting-edge of IMTA research globally and has over a decade of experience in understanding and implementing IMTA projects in UK and European waters. This research is now leading the way for IMTA integration into the aquaculture industry worldwide.
- Economic and environmental value of IMTA systems and co-products
- Species selection based on habitat specificity, available technologies, environmental and oceanographic conditions, complementary ecosystem functions, growth rates and biomass.
- Best practice operational monitoring programmes
- Regulatory & consenting support
- Stakeholder engagement
- Macro-algal culture and harvesting
(feasibility studies & seeding lines).
- Micro-algal culture