CSIC celebrates Aquaculture Day by highlighting R&D&I initiatives in the Valencian Community

The Torre de la Sal Aquaculture Institute has organised a conference at the CSIC’s Casa de la Ciència in Valencia to present the research carried out as part of the ThinkInAzul project.
As part of Aquaculture Day, which is celebrated on 30 November, the Torre de la Sal Aquaculture Institute (IATS) of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) today organised a conference aimed at bringing the public closer to various aspects of aquaculture, from the problems of endangered species and their conservation to the challenges of the so-called “blue economy”. The event was held at the CSIC Delegation to the Valencian Community – Casa de la Ciència del CSIC in Valencia – and served to present some of the research initiatives being developed within the Valencian Community’s ThinkInAzul project, coordinated by IATS-CSIC.
The conference consisted of a series of short presentations given by researchers participating in the Valencia Region’s ThinkInAzul project, one of the Complementary R&D&I Plans in which the Spanish Government and the Autonomous Communities cooperate. ThinkInAzul is part of the Marine Sciences Programme, which has a total budget of €53.7 million, of which €10 million has been allocated to the Region of Valencia. The funding comes from the European Union’s NextGenerationEU programme.
The CSIC delegate in the Valencia Region, Juan Fuster, who presented the conference via videoconference, highlighted CSIC’s participation in the Complementary R&D Plans being developed in the Valencia Region, which account for almost 22% of the total funding in the five areas where they are being developed (Marine Sciences; Quantum Communications; Agrifood; Astrophysics and High Energy Physics; and Advanced Materials). Fuster also thanked IATS for the work it has done since its creation to promote sustainable aquaculture.
The conference was also attended by Rafael Sebastián, Director General for Science and Research at the Regional Ministry of Education, Universities and Employment, who highlighted the importance of the event given that aquaculture is deeply rooted in our traditions and is a vital sector for our region. “The Valencian Community is at the forefront of responsible aquaculture, and a good example of this is our participation in the ThinkInAzul project, with a total budget of 10 million euros, 8 from the Next Generation programme and 2 million from the Generalitat Valenciana,” said Sebastián.
For his part, Jaume Pérez-Sánchez, CSIC research professor at the IATS and coordinator of the ThinkInAzul project, highlighted the important participation of the scientific community in this initiative, which in the Valencia region is a consortium of 39 research groups with more than 370 researchers from the CSIC, the University of Alicante, the Polytechnic University of Valencia, the University of Valencia, the Miguel Hernández University of Elche, the Jaume I University and the Catholic University of Valencia.
ThinkInAzul in the Region of Valencia is divided into 8 work packages, one for coordination and 7 for research, with more than 80 tasks linked to three lines of action defined in the National Plan: Monitoring and Observation of the Coastal and Marine Environment; Aquaculture; and Blue Economy. Each of the work packages will be coordinated by one or two researchers selected on the basis of scientific excellence, gender equality and territorial balance.
The discussions focused on current issues in the field of aquaculture, where Spain is the main producer in the European Union. The Region of Valencia produced almost 14,000 tonnes in 2022, 10% more than the previous year, and is a leader in the production of species such as sea bream and corvina. The conference also served to bring aquaculture research closer to the general public. Topics ranged from the problems of endangered species and their conservation to the social perception of aquaculture and the new challenges facing this activity within the blue economy, which generates 95.4 million jobs and an added value of €500 billion per year in Europe.


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