A sustainable and integrated aquaculture farm project within the Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm.

On Tuesday 20 December 2022, the Comité Régional de la Conchyliculture Bretagne Nord (CRCBN) and Ailes Marines signed an agreement to finance a feasibility study for anIntegrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA)farm project. Financed by Ailes Marines, the feasibility study will aim to determine the regulatory, technical and economic conditions of this innovative project.

A sustainable alternative, this type of innovation is increasingly being developed in the offshore wind farms of Northern Europe.

Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA):
a sustainable alternative

Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) combines the exploitation of various species on the same production site, based on the trophic relations between the various compartments of breeding (algae, shellfish, ...). This association of species allows to recreate an ecosystem by associating complementary species and represents a real solution for the sustainable development of aquaculture activities. This type of production has the double benefit of reducing the environmental impact of farming and allowing to bring a complementary activity for shellfish farmers (mussels, oysters, etc.).

This innovative system is all the more meaningful when one considers that French shellfish farming ranks 2nd in Europe, with an average production of 200,000 tons of shellfish per year. It is characterized by a certain heterogeneity of farming conditions, both in terms of species (oysters, mussels, clams, etc.) and the diversity of production sites along the French coastline. Among the fields of excellence of French shellfish farming, we find in particular oyster farming, whose products radiate abroad(Source: Secretariat of State for the Sea).

About the Comité Régional de La Conchyliculture Bretagne Nord (CRCBN)

The Comité Régional de la Conchyliculture de Bretagne-Nord (Regional Shellfish Farming Committee of Northern Brittany) gathers the professionals of the sector, from the tip of Finistère to the Mont Saint-Michel bay. Installed along the coast, they ensure the production of shellfish and contribute to the development of the territory. 

The CRC represents the interests of shellfish farming in its territory and ensures the balanced management of resources as well as the protection, conservation and management of environments and ecosystems contributing to the good state of shellfish resources. Among their missions, we also find the participation in the improvement of the conditions of production and, in a general way, the realization of economic and social actions in favor of the members of the concerned professions.

A feasibility study financed by Ailes Marines and supported by Iberdrola's Research and Development division

Ailes Marines is committed tosupporting and monitoring the feasibility study of this AMTI projectcarried out by theCRC Bretagne Nord, which will mobilize, to do so, the local structures and expertise centers that could support the successful completion of this feasibility. For example,actors of the "fishing" sector in Côtes-D'Armor such as the CCI 22as manager of the Costarmoric fish markets or theCentre d'Étude et de Valorisation des Algues (CEVA)could be consulted.

Ailes Marines will finance anaquaculture engineer who will be integrated into the CRC Bretagne Nord to carry out the feasibility study and who will be responsible for coordinating the regulatory assessments (authorization for the exploitation of marine cultures, maritime safety, etc.), the technical and zootechnical assessments, as well as the economic feasibility assessments. The Iberdrola Group, which owns 100% of the Ailes Marines project company, is also mobilizing its Research and Development department to support the successful completion of this study.

In conclusion, it should be noted that the integration of this aquaculture project does not stop at the ecosystemic aspect: it also looks at the economic and social components of the Côtes-D'Armor fishing industry. Indeed, this project wants to be integrated into the existing structures (auctions, fish trade) and wishes to develop new and complementary synergies on markets other than the traditional ones of shellfish farming.