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Million Euro Oyster Farming Scheme in Scandinavia

21 May 2009

SWEDEN - The University of Gothenburg is supporting the development of oyster farming via the marine innovation centre, mare novum. With the help of a grant of 1 million euro from the EU, a project called NORD-OSTRON will develop new farming techniques, among other things.

The University of Gothenburg should take a leading role in the development of aquaculture of marine fish and mussels. This was one of the conclusions in a recently published government review on Swedish aquaculture. The university is now supporting research and development of the marine aquaculture sector via a new project, which aims to boost oyster farming as a new industrial sector in our region, in cooperation with Norwegian and Danish parties.

Huge potential

The project is called Nord-Ostron, and is being pursued with support from the EU's structural programme INTERREG IVA. Göran Johansson, chair of INTERREG's steering committee for the Kattegat/Skagerrak section, sees huge potential in oyster aquaculture: "Marine issues have gained increasing significance in our region. We strongly believe that this project can break new ground when it comes to marine business development," he says.

2 million euro in three years

The aim of NORD-OSTRON is to find new models and tools that can boost oyster farming. This includes improving techniques at land-based hatcheries and developing systems for on-growing of oysters at sea. The EU is investing SEK 10 million (1 million euro) in the project, which has a total budget of just over SEK 20 million SEK (2 million euro) for the next three years.

Nordic cooperation

The project is being coordinated by Mare novum, a centre for marine innovation and business development at the University of Gothenburg. Other partners include the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in Østfold, the region of Västra Götaland, Dansk Skaldyrcenter, Center for Forskning og Forvaltning av skaldyr, Mare Life, Oslo Teknopol and Ostrea Sverige AB. The researcher responsible for the project is Susanne Lindegarth at the Department of Marine Ecology, University of Gothenburg.

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