13 Jul Research personnel from the Valencia Region will develop a marine conservation and aquaculture programme.
The Regional Ministry of Innovation, Universities, Science and Digital Society will develop a multidisciplinary research project of excellence in marine sciences, with the AQUAChange project, focused on marine conservation and aquaculture production, which has an investment of 10 million euros and is co-financed by the Generalitat Valenciana and the Ministry of Science and Innovation.
During the Council for Scientific, Technological and Innovation Policy, held this Monday, the first four Complementary Plans were signed with the Autonomous Communities under the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, which, for the first time, will see the launch of joint research projects between the Autonomous Communities and promoted by the Ministry of Science and Innovation.
Together with Andalusia, Cantabria, Galicia and the Region of Murcia, the Valencian Community is participating in the ThinkInAzul project, which focuses on the area of Marine Sciences and has a global budget of 50 million euros.
Specifically, Valencian scientific personnel will develop a programme for the conservation of the marine environment and the production of aquatic species culture, with a budget of 10 million euros, of which 4 million will be provided by the Regional Ministry of Innovation, Universities, Science and Digital Society, through the Directorate General for Science and Research.
The director general of Science and Research, Ángel Carbonell, explained that with the AQUAChange programme “the main line of action of our researchers will be sustainable, intelligent and precision aquaculture, to create new opportunities and have a great impact on the productive fabric and economy of coastal communities”.
Furthermore, according to Carbonell, AQUAChange “also aims to ensure the future of our seas and oceans and for this it is essential to improve the environmental education of our society”.
In this sense, he indicated that in the Valencia Region “we have a privileged position to increase aquaculture production, however, we are also in a situation of extreme vulnerability due to several factors, including the increase in temperatures in the Mediterranean, which is higher than the average for other regions of the planet at the same latitude”.
Therefore, the director general of Science considered that “it is urgent to develop actions aimed at tackling these major challenges: conserving the seas and, at the same time, promoting aquaculture, always from a perspective of respect for the marine environment”.
The AQUAChange project involves research teams from the Valencia Region, coordinated by Jaume Pérez Sánchez, research professor at the Torre de la Sal Aquaculture Institute (IATS-CSIC), and Carlos Valle, researcher at the University of Alicante and lecturer and coordinator of the Degree in Marine Sciences.
Carbonell explained that the programme “aims to promote sectors such as coastal and marine tourism, fishing and aquaculture that have been affected by the pandemic and other sectors of the blue economy, which as a whole have enormous potential in terms of their contribution to the sustainable economic recovery of the participating regions”.
The programme will develop a research, innovation and transfer network to integrate new marine and terrestrial technologies, platforms and sensors for the acquisition of data and samples in the field, as well as their digitisation”, he said.
The aim, he added, is to “observe and monitor the marine and coastal environment in order to evaluate and mitigate the impact of human beings on this environment, ensuring a good environmental state to guarantee the sustainability of natural resources and to understand the role of climate change in the sea”.