The Open Sea Aquaculture in the Eastern Mediterranean (OS Aqua) Project is co-financed with €800.000 by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research and Innovation Foundation (grant number INTEGRATED/0918/0046).
OS Aqua is a national project that will enable the strategic development of an open sea aquaculture industry in Cyprus. In addition to significantly increasing food production, the project aims to minimize impact to the natural environment. The project defines maritime zones, design facilities, automatization and monitoring systems and conducts a financial sustainability study.
Work Package 3
Cyprus Subsea collaborates with the Hellenic Centre of Marine Research (HCMR) and University of Nicosia Research Foundation (UNRF). HCMR and UNRF developed an environmental model to use in environmental impact assessment of aquaculture. CSCS will assist them with ecosystem modelling. This model will join available data – both observed and simulated – to produce a series of simulations specifically for impacts on the environment and fish welfare at a local scale.
In addition to ecosystem modelling, CSCS will identify potential allocated zones for offshore aquaculture with HCMR, UNRF, Oceanography Center – University of Cyprus (OC-UCY) and Geomatic Technologies.
Work Package 4
Cyprus Subsea will contribute to Work Package 4: Spatial Planning of Marine Aquaculture. In addition to stakeholder deliberation for offshore mariculture zones, CSCS will recommend suitable zones for offshore aquaculture.
Work Package 5
Cyprus Subsea is the leader of Work Package 5: Design of off-shore marine aquaculture station. In particular, CSCS leads the first task and participates in the last two:
- Onsite survey of a selected area
- Finfish species for offshore aquaculture
- Technology applicable to open sea aquaculture
Work Package 6
Cyprus Subsea also participates in Work Package 6: Ongoing monitoring of Offshore Mariculture stations along with UNRF, OC-UCY, HCMR, Geomatics and the Cyprus Department of Fisheries and Marine Research. In particular, Cyprus Subsea will lead the second task and participate in the first and last tasks:
- Monitoring parameters of Aquculture unit
- Cage Status Sensors
- Early warning system for cage monitoring
These tasks involve:
- examining the availability of sensors to monitor the cage status,
- providing best practice guidelines for environmental monitoring off offshore aquaculture &
- designing a cost-effective environmental monitoring system to support offshore aquaculture.
Overall, the OS Aqua provides a host of socioeconomic benefits to Cyprus. They include increasing food exports, attracting investments, opening new work positions and ensuring social acceptance and environmental sustainability.