PROJECT SME Development


Keeping fish farming tanks cleaner for longer

Portugal Map


How can offshore aquaculture become more effective?

Offshore aquaculture has become an established method of raising fish to meet the high demands of the growing global population. Even though fishing has basically maintained the same levels of productivity since the 1980’s, fish farms have been continuously on the as a more intensive animal protein production. However, its success has also shown the shortcomings of the infrastructure that is used to handle the intensive animal production. Cleanliness and maintenance of the nets and cages, for example, have presented a tough challenge, with the accumulation of biofouling leading to negative effects on fish health – and a final product with less-than-optimal quality.

BioMimetx was created in Portugal to tackle this issue through innovation, and their approach focused on improving the paint used to cover the containment surfaces of fish farms. While current solutions use metal-based pesticides – which are persistent and toxic for the environment – their product, BLUEPAINT, contains a biodegradable BMX-11 antifouling agent that is both effective and non-toxic. Throughout this project, in partnership with IDN/Morefish Group (NO), they will optimize and test their product in operational conditions in Norway, as well as validate the requirements to commercialize the solution.

The BLUEPAINT project is focused on the development, practical testing and application, deployment, and commercialization strategy of a new antifouling solution for aquaculture nets.

This is a project funded by the EEA Grants’ Blue Growth Innovation and SME initiative and includes coordination and technical development by the involved parties. BioMimetx, the creators of the technology, with the support of IDN, experts in project management, will – with the technical support of Morefish, a research institution in Norway – coordinate and supervise the tests at sea in Norwegian Salmon farms, in close cooperation with salmon farmers that are the main end-users for such technology. In addition, the team will count on the support and guidance of net-producing companies, like the Norwegian Morenot or international Euronet, that are main players in the production, distribution, and application of nets for aquaculture. Through its multidisciplinary group of team and advisors, the BLUEPAINT project will strongly promote cooperation between different partners such as enterprises and research institutions. The consortium will thus include tech companies, salmon farmers focused on food production sector, project management and research institutions.

Our ultimate vision is to make the safer BluePaint the leading antifouling paint for aquaculture in Norway and the world while replacing the use of toxic agents and current marine paints. The main actions consist on:

  • The development of the antifouling coating prototype based on BMX-11 as main antifouling agent;
  • The execution of a full-scale test in a salmon farm – demonstration in operational environment;
  • The gap assessment for registration of the antifouling paint BLUEPAINT;
  • The implementation of an updated market analysis and business plan for BLUEPAINT development.

We strongly believe that the successful conclusion of this Project will improve the competitiveness of BioMimetx and create value in the area of fisheries/aquaculture, by the development of this innovative product. BLUEPAINT development is thus a central piece in the domain of blue biotechnology with the biological additive BMX-11 used as antifouling agent.