Fish aquaculture is a major contributor to blue growth worldwide, yet induces a series of pressures to the coastal marine environment. Living sponges are ideal candidates to mitigate organic pollution, owing to their innate capacity for active seawater filtering.
SPINAQUA is a multidisciplinary research project investigating the potential of sponge cultivation in proximity to fish aquaculture for bioremediation and bioproduction purposes. To this end, it adopts an integrated approach comprising: (a) an extended survey of existing sponge habitats, (b) the setup of an experimental open-sea cultivation of selected sponges, as well as (c) the evaluation of their biotechnological potential in the laboratory. Through the adoption of state-of-the-art research methodologies, it aspires to provide a sound baseline to support the development of future bioremediation applications in an efficient, productive and environmentally sustainable manner.
SPINAQUA is a multidisciplinary research project investigating the potential of sponge cultivation in proximity to fish aquaculture for bioremediation and bioproduction purposes. Through state-of-the-art approaches, it promotes environmentally sustainable and efficient marine biotechnology. In the long run, it will help deliver a competitive advantage to Greek aquaculture enterprises and “cleaner” seas to the people.
The first in vitro bioremediation experiment was performed by the SPINAQUA team. During this procedure, two sponge species previously placed in IMBBC experimental aquaria, were supplied with three microalgae species. Their clearance capacity was measured by fluorescence microplate reader analysis.
The sponge cultivation structures were installed in proximity to the fish cages, at 5-10 m depth in the aquaculture site (Chania, Crete) by the SPINAQUA diving team (Thanos Dailianis, Julius Glampedakis, Emmanouela Vernadou). Sponge species for experimental farming were selected according to surveys already conducted about their abundance, biomass and…