GAIN - Green Aquaculture Intensification in Europe


Netcages for Atlantic Salmon production off the West coast of Ireland (c) Thünen-Institut/Cornelia Kreiss
Floatable frame structure with nets (net cages) to produce Atlantic salmon off the West coast of Ireland. Through the black supply pipes, which are connected to an automatic feeding system, the feed is introduced into the net cages. (© Thünen-Institut/Cornelia Kreiss)

There are several reasons why aquaculture in Europe is only growing slowly. One reason is the low economic efficiency of several production system and an eco-intensification could improve it.

Background and Objective

GAIN (Green Aquaculture Intensification in Europe) aspires to facilitate the paradigm-shift of ecointensification in European aquaculture to meet the required annual growth in aquatic product volume (4.5%), by developing and validating innovative production tools and knowledge at end-user level, and consequently to market, while meeting environmental impact/climate-change related goals, and simultaneously increasing health and welfare for both farmed animals and consumers.

We will achieve this by focusing on

  • (i) the primary sector of aquaculture production, through improved feed design, and use of sensors and Big Data for precision aquaculture;
  • (ii) the secondary sector of production, through innovative approaches to re-use and valorisation of by-products and side-streams; and
  • (iii) analysis and proposals for policy improvements, to address the challenges of the circular economy.

We will evaluate the relative role of the various components, from the standpoints of economic impact, improved animal welfare, and environmental and social sustainability, in the eco-intensification of European aquaculture.

Target Group

Policy makers, Aquaculture Sector, Associations, Scientific Community and Public


Involved Thünen-Partners

Involved external Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

  • European Union (EU)
    (international, öffentlich)


5.2018 - 10.2021

More Information

Projekt type:
Funding program: EU – Horizon 2020 – Societal Challenge "Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine, Maritime and Inland Water Research and the Bioeconomy"
Project status: finished