The latest communication from the European Commission entitled “Blue Growth: Opportunities for marine and maritime sustainable growth” estimates that the EU’s Blue Economy provides 5.4M jobs with a gross added value of around €500 billion per year. After an analysis of job creation possibilities and the potential for research and development to deliver technology improvements and innovation, it suggested the need for action at the EU level to deliver sustainable growth and jobs in the blue economy. Our proposal contributes directly to EU aspirations for sustainable opportunities via Blue Growth in the areas of aquaculture and blue biotechnology.
We will assess the impact of climate change on our 4 chosen commercially important species and how aquaculture production will be affected in the future, specifically engaging a Marie Curie fellow in the final year to produce a report for policy makers and shellfish farmers on how we can reshape the industry to maximize outputs in a changing world. Studies on Ostrea edulis (which is listed as a priority species on the UK Biodiversity Action Plan) will feed directly into conservation plans and potential broodstock exploitation by newly emerging Ostrea farms, seeking to re-introduce Ostrea edulis as a commercially viable species.