Interview with Adriana Giangrande and Cinzia Gravili.

We continue to know the protagonists of the Entrefish Project: today we offer you an interview with Prof. Adriana Giangrande (Scientific coordinator of the project for  DiSTeBA Department – University of Salento)  and Cinzia Gravili (Manager of the project for  DiSTeBA Department – University of Salento), who are coordinating one of the “project work subgroups” of the Entrefish project).


Aquaculture is a growing sector of production due to the growing demand for fish from the world population and is seen as an alternative to fishing.
The main problems of aquaculture concern the production of waste and feed.
Today the challenge of aquaculture is to improve the use of large quantities of feed no longer derived from wild fish meal.
The negative factor is that most of the species bred are carnivorous (white fish) and the main source for producing fishmeal for their feed for years was the biomass of bluefish, so instead of safeguarding the natural fish, aquaculture has contributed to the overpower of some species. Fishmeal supplies are becoming more and more scarce and expensive today, making sustainable the need to find a source of protein and other ingredients of high nutritional value for the various species of fish.
Current methods of feed production tend not to use “fishmeal” anymore, combining fish oil with vegetable proteins and chemical substances packaged in “pellets”. This poses a problem, since many carnivorous fish are not genetically engineered to metabolize large amounts of carbohydrates. Therefore the innovation of fish feed continues to be a necessity for eco-sustainable aquaculture.
More recently, research and development projects in this feed sector have been activated with the aim of improving the understanding of the relationship between nutrition and environmental impact; such innovation projects are underway all over the world. However, the bet is still to make fish feeds relatively low cost and high quality nutraceuticals in environmentally friendly aquaculture systems; therefore this objective has become a business of great global competition.

Project Work Theme
Our Project Work proposes the formulation of an innovative feed able to allow an eco-compatible aquaculture as obtained from the recycling of leftovers of the fish market (it speaks not only of the fishing waste already used, but of unsold product) and of aquaculture by-products (unsold fish and biomass of invertebrates and algae produced as byproduct of IMTA system: Integrated mulitrophic aquaculture).
This innovative feed would reduce the use of fishmeal and fish oil used in the production of current feed used in aquaculture, the production of which threatens natural fish stocks.
Preliminary research on the understanding of the destiny of the products we want to use will be necessary, in other words, we do not know what happens to scrap and leftovers, it is a material whose disposal is a source of expense for traders

The project will contribute to the development of new manufacturing methods and technologies in the production of the new feed, creating cutting-edge skills in the perspective of high-tech growth in the aquaculture sector. It will allow to offer a sector research with a high added value able to attract industrial investments from both the aquaculture and feed industries in the national and international field, once the cost / benefit ratio of the project has been defined. .
On the territory it will be able to contribute to strengthening the system of scientific and technological research, improving links between the scientific system and the business system, thus reducing the delay between biotechnological research and the development of aquaculture.
Ultimately, the project will contribute to the growth of the aquaculture sector and its sustainability in harmony with the respect of the environment, consumers and the food industry.

The team
The group is made up of young graduates and undergraduates in biological and environmental sciences. Prof. Adriana Giangrande has long been involved in research in the field of ecosustainable aquaculture collaborating with the CNR of Taranto, the University of Bari and the Margrande mariculture plant in Taranto for the exploitation of aquaculture by-products ( invertebrates and algae). This project is linked to a previous Life project that is still underway in the plant where an IMTA system is being tested with the generation of biomass of invertebrates and algae and which can be used in the production of feed. Dr. Cinzia Gravili deals with the impact of gelatinous plankton organisms on ecosystems.