Blue Remediation (RD125)


This project will investigate the potential of Scottish sea cucumbers to reduce salmon waste accumulation in the aquaculture environment.

Funding Amount:


Duration of Project:

18 months

Project Summary:

The need to address the world’s increasing demand for fish and the urgency to contribute to the preservation of the marine environment through more sustainable aquaculture practices has never been more critical. Blue Remediation aims to reconcile the apparent incompatibility between fish production and environmental protection by using the bioremediation capacity of sea cucumbers. Sea cucumbers are “the marine equivalents of terrestrial earthworms: they rework and re-oxygenate the seabed” (European Commission), making them excellent bioremediation candidates.

Our Feasibility Study (FS052) revealed that Scottish sea cucumbers (Holothuria forskali) have the capacity to thrive on salmon waste in the laboratory, and numerical long-term predictions showed that sea cucumbers have a high potential to mitigate salmon waste (> 40-70% of the organic matter with 5-10 individuals/m2 respectively). To finalise our bioremediation prototype, we need to:

  • Investigate the effect of seasonality and body size on H. forskali’s bioremediation capacity and include these variables in the computer model created during the feasibility study;
  • Validate the results of our model by comparing them with data from a 1-year in-situ trial at one of Mowi’s salmon farms;
  • Investigate how the presence of sea cucumbers affects the seabed infaunal community in a salmon-waste impacted benthos.

During the R&D project, we will apply our prototype at the aquaculture farm scale. By coupling our sea cucumber module to NewDEPOMOD (the governmentally approved software for farm waste dispersion), we will assess the environmental and economic benefits of choosing bioremediation as a sustainable alternative.

For more on this project’s previous work, see here.

STATUS: Ongoing

Project Lead

Blue Remediation Ltd