Reason & Objective

  • Due to effective feed conversion ratios (FCR), food from aquaculture is seen as the most promising and resource efficient source of healthy protein and lipids (omega-3 fatty acids) that will contribute to feeding the ever-expanding global population.
  • Worldwide aquaculture production is increasing at an impressive rate, but not, in the SB region, where it is stagnating. This is partially due to environmental restrictions and the costs of reducing negative environmental impacts. Besides sharpened regulations and obligations, SB region also faces additional restrictions based on the specifics of the Baltic Sea and the HELCOM BSAP conditions. The barriers of aquaculture development in the region are further increased by the limited application of and markets for aquaculture products and by-products. Consumer mindsets concerning these also challenge development of the sector.
  • The present state-of-play of aquaculture production in the SB region will continue to permit the expansion of non-sustainable fish production in other parts of the world, unless new production methods that support circular economy and blue biotechnology are broadly adopted. This change would contribute significantly to all ESGs, EUSBSR, Farm-to-Fork, EU Biodiversity Strategy, and the EU Green Deal.

The objective of the AquaLoop project is to develop, promote, and support the concept of circular aquaculture in the SB region for the green transition, with a focus on nutrient loop containment with by-products production towards responsible consumption.

Focus & Approach

  • Cooperation with partners and joint development of tailored solutions for boosting human resource capacities through development of 3 cross-border pilots, testing innovative methods and tools through PilotLoops – Circular aquaculture South Baltic pilots activities
  • Training students and professionals in the area of innovative aquaculture methods, exchanging knowledge and experience related to human resource capacities for the circular aquaculture sector through TrainingLoop activities 
  • Investigating best practices, experiencing the cross-sector cooperation possibilities in an international setting and forming international networks with organizations pursuing the same mission through SupportLoop activities


PilotLoops – Circular aquaculture South Baltic pilots
  • To develop and promote new circular solutions in aquaculture through 3 cross-border pilots concentrated on testing, demonstration, and communication of the circular approach in innovative aquaculture production methods, with the aim to lead to the reduction of waste and water use/loss, production of valuable byproducts, in order to preserve natural resources and reduce environmental impacts.
  • Through testing, carrying out in depth analysis, and cooperation with project associated partners, through a link with accurate commercial technology of associated partners, with prompt exchange of data and technology solutions to test interactively from the lab scale to the farm scale.
  • Providing jointly developed protocols for further applications by enterprises and substantial input to the training, and support activities of the project.

Coordinating partner: University of Gdańsk, PL


TrainingLoop – Circular aquaculture training pool
  • To prepare different generations of stakeholders: school kids, students and young professionals for the circular approach in economy in general and aquaculture production and consumption specifically, in order to boost their career opportunities, taking under consideration ecological and economic progress of the region at the same time.
  • Based on the state-of-the-art findings of the INTERREG projects, in terms of careers development in the sector of blue bioeconomy, circular economy and nutrition, high training competencies of the consortium, and high standard of the facilities: FishGlassHouse (DE), University of Gdańsk RAS facilities (PL), Fisheries and Aquaculture Laboratory with modern RAS (LT), and highly developed network of partners: SMEs, universities, municipalities,  and sectoral associations.
  • Providing jointly developed curricula and manuals for study programs for school kids, students, and young professionals and cross-border training and awareness raising activities.

Coordinating partner: Klaipeda University, LT

SupportLoop – Circular aquaculture stakeholder support
  • To show interested stakeholders the potentials and challenges of establishing a land-based RAS aquaculture production on an existing agricultural farm, also with the aim of supporting reduction of nutrient impacts in existing SB sea-cage production.
  • By documenting the economic and environmental frameworks required across the SB region, as well as facilitating workshops with stakeholder groups, study visits to existing commercial and pilot units.
  • Providing tools for stakeholder support: professionals, SMEs, associations, and authorities including recommendations and protocols from the project through AquaLoop: Aquaculture expert floor for circular economy practice platform and international AquaLoop Conference.

Coordinating partner: Guldborgsund Municipality, DK




Associated Partners
  • Polish Trout Breeder Association (PL)
  • Danish Aquaculture (DK)
  • Nutrition and Food Part of Bioenergie Lüchow GmbH & Co. KG (DE)
  • Aquafarm Lübesse GmbH & Co. KG (DE)
  • Oceanloop Kiel GmbH (DE)
  • Association Klaipeda Region (LT)
  • Active Youth (LT)
  • Association Modern Aquaculture (LT)


AquaLoop’s project idea addresses environmental, economic and educational challenges, as well as those due to administrative and legal restrictions, lack of cross-sectorial cooperation and knowledge transfer related to:

  • water use/loss reduction and purification methods
  • waste-water and nutrient management methods
  • production of bi-products
  • introducing circular economy into aquaculture economics
  • access to research results and demonstration sites
  • access to training opportunities on circularity and bioeconomy
  • access to model facilities and know-how
  • access to repeatable protocols for proved circular solutions
  • support in networking and match-making
  • producer and consumer mind-set

Of many target groups, including:

  • SMEs including farmers, fish-farmers and aquaculture enterprises, aquatic animal breeders, bioeconomy SMEs, fish feed enterprises
  • public authorities
  • policy makers
  • professionals
  • students and school pupils


The unique composition of the AquaLoop consortium, bringing together universities, municipalities, associations and SMEs reflects the strong interest and link between research, education, awareness raising and application in industry, essential to develop and implement circular economy based aquaculture in practice.

The foreseen actions are designed so as to develop and showcase original, innovative solutions, prepare present and future employees, business sector and customers for the circular aquaculture, by providing:

  • 3 cross-border pilots concentrating on testing, demonstration, and communication of the circular approach
  • Jointly developed solutions including: pilots’ protocols, training methodologies and support assessments

Available at the AquaLoop platform, ready for uptake and upscaling by stakeholders.

For ongoing AquaLoop outputs and project materials please go to RESULTS