Tuesday, June 18, 2013

AQUAREL heads to White Sea

World-level Arctic ocean research, cultivation of high-value seafood for the top restaurants in St Petersburg and beyond, compounds for ecological cosmetics and a total disconnection from the hectic urban life, staged in the midst of amazingly rich bio- and geodiversities at one side of the coin – extensive challenges posed by logistics, energy production and the Arctic climate on the other. These are some of the main discoveries made by the nine “AQUAREL - Aquatic Resources for Green Energy Realisation” (KA397) project’s Finnish and Russian representatives on the project’s White Sea trip 3rd-6th June 2013.

The trip was initiated and hosted by Mr Alexander Pozin from the AQUAREL partner “Mariproduct” JSC. Mariproduct produces mussels, fish and other marine-based products like cosmetics ingredients and offers also services for tourists. The company runs the Marine Farm “Sonostrov” on the island of Tonisoar which is located in the Louhi Region, about 70 km south-east from the village of Chupa. Although accessible from mainland by foot, the distance to the island has to be covered by boats from Chupa due to the lack of roads to more proximate locations. 

Mr Alexander Pozin, director of “Mariproduct” JSC

The main goal of the AQUAREL trip was to deepen the project partners’ understanding on the offerings, circumstances, challenges and possibilities provided by the White Sea and this particular remote location. Corresponding with the project’s main theme, of a special interest for the consortium were the challenges that such isolated, peripheral locations face with energy production and modern solutions for them. The solutions that are applied should enable both electricity and heat production by maximizing the use of local, easy-to-access and environmentally-friendly resources in a sustainable manner. Now having the very practical insight into the conditions and resources available, AQUAREL experts will continue studying the potential embedded in the utilization of, amongst others, storm-cast algae found on the White Sea shores in large quantities. Also the project’s investigations for other innovative biomaterial based solutions applicable to decentralized energy production at peripheral locations will be continued in Finnish-Russian research and business collaboration.

Mussels harvesting at Tonisoar

The AQUAREL project is a collaborative initiative of 3 Finnish and 5 Russian organisations. It focuses on developing energy production from fish waste and aquatic biomaterials, thus reducing the load on ecosystem and providing novel possibilities for creating energy and additional income for fish farms and fish processors in the Republic of Karelia and in Finland. The project started in October 2012 and will last for 20 months.

The project’s main outcomes reached in the project by June 2013 are:
- Increased interest towards fish waste utilisation amongst fish farmers and fish processors
- Report on fish waste production locations and quantities in the Republic of Karelia
- Study on the equipment applicable to fish waste processing in Karelia
- Active collaboration and contacts with fish farms and fish processing plants in Karelia
- Started: Study on White Sea algae utilisation and energy production possibilities
- Studies on the energy potential of different biobased materials available in the Republic of Karelia
- Active collaboration between the project partners, including plans for novel collaboration initiatives and partnerships

The AQUAREL crew

More information about the project: www.culmentor.com/aquarel

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