Sea stars, sea urchins and sea cucumbers are abundant marine biomass resources that are underdeveloped and underutilised. Throughout Europe, these echinoderms are wastefully exploited, disregarded and discarded. Researchers and industry partners in the InEVal project will advance high quality bio economic products and services from echinoderm biomass. InEVal addresses societal demand for new solutions to current challenges for human food, aqua feeds and ecosystem services by:
1) Up-valuing sea stars from Irish and German inshore shellfish industries to processed supplements for salmon, shrimp and seabass diets using milling, washing and enzymatic fermentation.
2) Improving low-value sea urchins from heavily impacted sea urchin barrens to high quality food for humans for high value niche markets in novel land-based enhancement systems under optimal holding conditions. Investigating novel use for remaining unused biomass.
3) Seeding and harvesting sea cucumber for site remediation at nutrient-enriched aquaculture sites. Valuable and sustainable site remediation service is followed by use as a high value human food.
InEVal’s novel products and services will serve expanding markets and sectors and InEVal’s committed commercial industry partners will ensure realistic new value chains are established. Production methods will be developed to secure regular supply to surveyed and confirmed target customers, i.e. to diet formulators (aqua feeds) at just-in-time standard; to sea urchin consumers outside normal seasonal bounds; to environmentally aware sea cucumber consumers; and to aquaculture operators aiming to sustainably remediate fallowed production sites.
The InEVal project aims to develop realistic value-added, innovative products and services from echinoderm bio resources. Focussing on value and sustainability at every step along the full value chain, these resource uses will contribute to zero-waste and circular economies driving a competitive blue bio economy in Europe.