Last October 24 started a series of seminars that broadcasted findings from a world-leading academic study assessing potential health risks associated with nanoparticles found within the Atlantic aquaculture industry. The ground-breaking NanoCulture Project has been funded by the Interreg Atlantic Area, via the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The NanoCulture project has brought together world leading aquaculture professionals, analytical chemists, physical chemists and molecular biologists. Working in collaboration they have developed sensors to detect the presence of engineered metallic nanoparticles in aquaculture.
“These sensors are able to monitor the levels of exposure to nanoparticles in seawater across aquaculture specimens, in order to assess their impact on human intake.“
“We look forward to embarking on the next phase of the NanoCulture project, involving open discourse with industry colleagues to explain the key findings of our studies,” said Project Coordinator, Begoña Espiña.
“The online webinar series is being hosted by key partners, and staged in a variety of languages, to maximize accessibility and broaden the reach of our communication. We invite all interest parties to register at the earliest convenience,” she added.
Drive improvements and sustainability
Project coordinator said the online seminars divulged knowledge about a relatively unknown subject to global audiences, in a bid to drive improvements and sustainability for the fast-growing sector.
“In recent years nanoparticles have been increasingly used across a diverse range of industrial applications,” said Ms. Espiña. “However, limited scientific research has been conducted to assess the toxicity of nanoparticles, and the potential knock-on effect to the human system. Given the importance of the aquaculture sector for the Atlantic Area, the NanoCulture research group has set about extensive studies. This will enable us to better understand possible adverse effects and in turn improve the safety of future food production and any environmental-related impacts of the activity.”
Collaboration between Portugal, Spain, UK and France
The international collaboration has involved International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL) and the Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental (CIIMAR) located in Portugal, alongside Indigo Rock Marine Research Station from Ireland, the University of Vigo, the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC) and Centro Tecnológico del Cluster de la Acuicultura de Galicia (CETGA), all from Spain.
As well have participated two associated partners from United Kingdom (UK) and France: Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute and Pole Aquimer, respectively.
English, Portuguese and Spanish language webinars
Final results of the project had been revealed in a series of English, Portuguese and Spanish language webinars, taking place on the last week. For more information is possible to follow the link www.nanoculture.ciimar.up.pt.
Studies focused on aquatic ecosystems related to aquaculture in the Atlantic area, specifically targeting organisms destined for human consumption including cultured fish, mollusks, seaweed and sea urchins.
The seminars had the presence of Julie Maguire, from Indigo Rock Marine Station; Sean Kelly, from Nanotechnologies Industry Association (NIA); Begoña Espiña (INL); Alexandre Campos, from CIIMAR; Pedro Pousão-Ferreira, Director S2AQUA; Alexandre Campos y Mário Araújo, also from CIIMAR, and Garazi Rodríguez, from Asociación Empresarial de Acuicultura Española (Apromar).