The Neptunus project is an Interreg Atlantic Area project funded by the European Regional Development Fund aims to promote the sustainable development of the seafood sector in the European Atlantic Area. It uses an international clustering concept (nexus approach) to review, examine and harness eco-labelling and eco-innovations that can increase the sustainability of, and economic opportunity for seafood production in the Atlantic region.
This project was awarded by the Interreg Atlantic Area Programme with a grant of €1.7 million and a total budget of approximately €2.3 million running for 3 years.
This project is coordinated by the University of Cantabria and NUI Galway is lead on a workpackage on the valorisation of waste streams (trimmings, blood waters and by-products). The development of circular economy strategies from these streams will contribute to several other work packages including the generation of data for a life cycle inventory database on seafood in the Atlantic Area.
Neptunus draws on the expertise, knowledge and experience of over 28 partners from areas such as producers, processors, regulators, academia and support agencies. This includes partners from Ireland, Spain, Portugal, France and the UK. Irish companies involved in the project include Irish Seaspray (Galway), Wild Atlantic Oysters (Sligo), Hexafly (Meath) and Sure Engineering (Dublin). Bord Iascaigh Mhara – Irelands Seafood Development Agency, is also a partner in this consortium and will provide expert opinion and links to public bodies and end users.
The transition to a circular economy provides opportunities for many sectors, but particularly the food sector. It is important to prioritise sustainability alongside social and economic policies for regional and global food production. Government policies informed by research and stakeholder engagement can influence consumer behaviour towards sustainable food choices and foster protection of our natural resources. NEPTUNUS, through international cooperation, will improve the nature of the seafood production by transferring best-practice for a circular economy. The project aims to ensure that all aspects resource of efficiency is incorporated into innovation in this sector alongside economic, environmental and social variables.
Neptunus will provide a cohesive clustering model that unites stakeholders and addresses gaps and barriers. This goal can be achieved by means of two specific objectives:
- Introducing green economy strategies in the seafood sector to minimise environmental impacts. To achieve this, it is necessary to design an information system promoting eco-labelling under a nexus approach.
- Developing strategies and policies based on a no-waste principal that deliver new products and working systems to the seafood sector. This can be achieved through reducing resource use in seafood through recycling and reusing the waste outputs as new and valuable products.
Neptunus aims to benefit industries, by means of a new green eco-label that will increase their competitiveness. This will impact (i) public authorities, by providing pilot studies that will contribute to the economic cohesion of involved regions, (ii) research organisations, by participating in an ambitious strategy to enhance Europe’s capacity to deliver smart growth and research and to improve the existing processes for knowledge transfer in the area; (iii) consumers by informing them about the societal-environmental benefits of sustainable products.
For more information please visit www.neptunus-project.eu or contact using this link.