Through the INTERREG Italy-Austria “FISH” project, the use of insect-based feed will be piloted, as an alternative way to the products currently used in aquaculture, to raise fish and prawns in closed aquaponic systems, in the autonomous Province of Bolzano and Austria.

Aquaponics is a cultivation/farming system based on the synergistic creation of ecosystems of plants, fish, and bacteria. In these environments, plants are fed and grow on substances naturally produced by fish and bacteria as part of their daily life, and vice versa.

Since 2022, the South Tyrolean startup company , SOLOS Aquaponix srl, has implemented a series of research and testing projects in Bolzano Province related to the adoption of innovative aquaponic systems. The desire to develop efficient, sustainable systems with a very low carbon footprint prompted SOLOS to seek expert support in the fields of both management and health.

This led to a partnership between SOLOS, Alpenaquafarm Tirol and the Peripheral Health Structure of Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie (IZSVe) based in Bolzano (SCT6), giving rise to the Interreg project “FISH” between Italia and Austria, cofunded by the European Union.

The role of IZSVe

In the framework of the project, IZSVe is tasked with ensuring the sanitary conditions of the piloted system in relation to both fish and consumers, by evaluating:

  • fish health and wellbeing in the tanks where the testing will take place;
  • the wholesomeness and nutritional quality of the meat from the fish and prawns slaughtered for commercial consumption.

IZSVe’s contribution includes preliminary study tasks, field and laboratory activities, and data processing. Through its participation in the project, IZSVe aims both to support the local production concerns involved and to learn new knowledge on an expanding sector, not yet widely implemented at national and international level.

Project details

Duration: 01/08/2023 – 30/09/25
Total budget: € 100.041,63
EU funding: € 80.033,30
For further information, see:

IZSVe contact person for the project

Stefano Colorio
SCT6 – Bolzano
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie