Mouth of the river Duero in Oporto. (Photo: Stock File)
Researchers will identify estuarine areas with aquaculture potential
Friday, June 15, 2018, 02:30 (GMT + 9)
A team of researchers from the departments of Physics and Biology of the University of Aveiro (UA) will develop a system to evaluate the potential of aquaculture exploitation of Portuguese estuarine areas for species having commercial interest.
Only two estuaries in Portugal that are closed to aquaculture, those of Douro and Arad, will be outside this study.
The project, called "AquiMap", is financed by the Operational Program "Mar 2020" within the framework of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), and will be developed over three years. As part of the study, the analysis of physical and microbiological factors will be associated with geo-referencing.
According to the researchers, this project "can be an important step" to reach the goal of producing 25,000 tons of aquaculture products by 2025, established in the Strategic Plan for Portuguese Aquaculture 2014-2020.
"To achieve this goal, the national production would have to grow between 15 and 20 per cent per year." In order for this growth to be verified, new areas will have to be identified and production optimized in the current ones, which requires accurate and rigorous mapping, based on studies of hydrodynamic modeling and water quality, of high technical and scientific value, such as the one proposed by the team responsible for the AquiMap project," says a data note from the University.
The project will be developed by the Estuarine and Coastal Modeling Nucleus led by João Miguel Dias, from the Department of Physics, and by the Laboratory of Applied Microbiology, led by Adelaida Almeida, of the Department of Biology, both integrated in the Environmental Studies Centre and Marine Affairs (CESAM).
According to AquiMap coordinator, the Portuguese Association of Aquaculture Producers has shown great interest in the results of this project and has expressed its willingness to collaborate in its development, providing all the necessary information for its implementation.