Four projects led by experts from the Research Institute for Integrated Coastal Zone Management (IGIC) of the Gandia Campus of the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) were selected in the program called “ThinkInAzul: Joint Research and Innovation Strategy in Marine Sciences” , to face the new challenges of marine-maritime monitoring and observation, of climate change, aquaculture and other sectors of the so-called “Blue Economy”, which consists in acting on natural ecosystems without significantly altering them.
The proposals focus on the three fundamental lines of action of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan approved by the Spanish government, which are the observation and monitoring of the marine and coastal environment; the development of sustainable, intelligent and precision aquaculture and progress in other sectors of the Blue Economy, preserving the environmental quality of the seas and improving the economy linked to the maritime environment.
In detail of these four programs, Víctor Espinosa is the principal researcher of the project “Acoustic monitoring for precision aquaculture”, proposed in collaboration with the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) and the University of Alicante (UA), co -directed by Isabel Pérez and which includes the use of echo sounders for the monitoring of floating classrooms, which allows to improve the feeding process and the behavior of fish in the face of different stimuli.
For his part, the researcher Jaime Lloret is responsible for the “Sensor network and Big Data for the observation of the marine environment” project, co-directed by the researcher Sandra Sendra, which aims at dynamic oceanographic monitoring, conservation of marine protected areas areas, mitigating damage to marine ecosystems and research in that area. Furthermore, it will allow maximizing the sustainability of aquaculture facilities “.
Professor Luis Miret leads another of these projects, entitled ‘Generational change in the Valencian fishing sector’. This proposal will analyze the economic and socio-working situation of fishing in the Valencian Community, trying to find formulas that promote generational renewal in fishing and attract young people to jobs linked to the sea.
A cooperative study
Finally, Professor Miguel Rodilla directs the “Study on the reproductive, genetic and larval supply of cockle and chirla”, which addresses the causes of the decline in the population of these two species, so coveted in gastronomy, and the possibilities of forcing their recovery.
In addition to the Valencian Community, the Marine Sciences program brings together projects and contributions from four other autonomous communities, Andalusia, Cantabria, Galicia and Murcia, and has a budget of € 50 million to integrate and promote all marine research in these regions and cooperatively address the challenges of marine research, aquaculture, new technologies, the impact on the marine environment and the blue economy.
“The development of the program will make it possible to promote sectors such as coastal and maritime tourism, fisheries or aquaculture, which have been affected by the pandemic and which represent enormous potential for the sustainable economic recovery of the participating regions”, states the Campus in a declaration. The deadline for the execution of the selected proposals is three years.
Funding for Gandia 738,904 euros out of a total of 50 million
Of the 50 million euros allocated for the execution of the “ThinkInAzul” program, 738,904 euros, co-financed by the Generalitat and the Spanish government, will be used for projects directed by the researchers of the Gandia Campus. This amount will make it possible to subsidize expenses for newly hired staff, execution and equipment and those other expenses of the project for its proper implementation.