The EU-funded BIOGEARS project has developed its first biobased and biodegradable rope prototypes for offshore aquaculture. The prototypes are a significant step towards the project’s contribution to a more eco-friendly aquaculture industry.
BIOGEARS aims to provide the European aquaculture sector with innovative products and a value chain to challenge the existing gap of biobased ropes (biogears) for offshore aquaculture, which are currently manufactured with 100% non-biodegradable (petrol-based) plastics.
The next step is to test the prototype in field trials for validation at sea. Test facilities have been identified in different sea environments, including offshore high energy conditions in a longline system; low energy conditions in a raft system; and an Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) system. Once started, the field demonstrations will test and monitor at least two production cycles with biobased ropes under best practices for eco-friendly aquaculture.
These prototype biogears and pilot tests taking place in the BIOGEARS project aim to reduce the current technological gaps and extend the potential use of sustainable materials in the sector. The results of the project support creating a biobased value chain under the EU Bioeconomy Strategy framework.