Navigation path


ECOSMA - Ecological Certification of Products from Sustainable Marine Aquaculture

LIFE07 ENV/D/000229

Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version  

Contact details:

Contact person: Levent Piker
Tel: +49 431 3645880
Fax: +49 431 3645888

Project description:


Marine aquaculture contributes a large proportion of the total landings of fish and seafood. About 29% of the total fish yield come from aquaculture, with sales increasing by 10% annually. However, aquaculture can have serious ecological consequences, because it contributes to overfishing of the oceans, over-fertilized waters and damage to valuable coastal habitats. The North and Baltic Seas are potential fish-farm sites for German producers, but should be managed appropriately. Public receptiveness towards this activity and its products, especially among the fish-consuming public, will influence the development of the sector.

In the context, on 1 January 2009, EU Regulation 834/2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products came into force. The scope of the regulation includes for the first time products from aquaculture.


The project aimed to:

  • Support the production and marketing of ecological "mariculture" (marine aquaculture) products by developing a process for the certification of products in line with EU Regulation 834/2007 on “Organic Production and Labelling of Organic Products” and demonstrate the ecological certification of sustainably produced sea products.
  • Reduce impacts on the marine environment and improve water quality in line with the HELCOM-Baltic Sea Action Plan (
  • Contribute to the harmonisation of environmental and economic development of coastal regions in accordance with EU environmental strategies and HELCOM recommendations.
  • Build awareness of sustainable mariculture, and make the certification of sustainable mariculture products more sustainable for consumers.
  • Provide training on mariculture to to ecological certification control bodies.

  • Results

    The ECOSMA project developed criteria for organic aquaculture. It brought together numerous stakeholders such as producers, retailers, scientists, supervisory authorities and consumers to initiate a discussion on the criteria for organic aquaculture. An important aspect of the project was the qualification and further training for those interested in marine aquaculture. To this end a wide range of dissemination activities, training programmes and public events were carried out successfully. For example, a list of all eco-labels in the field of fish and seafood which can presently be found in Germany was compiled and during the “TAK” events an educational game to the topic buying behaviour and consumption patterns in relation to fish and seafood was presented. On the same occasions a lecture entitled "Fish on the table - but which?" was held that showed the differences between conventional and sustainable aquaculture and educated about the variety of different eco-labels on the market. Another event was the Kiel “Tag am Kai” (Day on the quayside), a sustainable aquaculture public event, which has become an annual street festival with training sessions and exhibitions.

    Furthermore, a committee bringing together stakeholders in the aquaculture sector was created by the project. The committee will continue in its’ activities after the project end date, under the association, the “Bundesverband Aquakultur” (Federal Association of Aquaculture), which was founded in October 2011 as a consequence of the project.

    The project also developed the “Guidelines for sustainable marine aquaculture (Leitfaden für die nachhaltige marine Aquakultur”), which provide detailed information, including a business model, for sustainable marine aquaculture businesses.

    The ECOSMA project also demonstrated the guidelines by calculating the CO2 emissions from each process and sub-process in the cultivation of seaweed and the production of a seaweed extract. This CO2 footprinting exercise was a first for aquaculture in the world, and the first one following the brand new procedures of the GHG Product Protocol.

    The new Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products was published on 05.08.2009 and the beneficiary is the first company in Germany which was certified under this regulation.

    Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).


Environmental issues addressed:


Environmental management - Eco-products design
Industry-Production - Fisheries


fishing industry‚  organic farming‚  environmental awareness‚  certification‚  marine environment

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator CRM - Coastal research and Management GbR
Type of organisation SME Small and medium sized enterprise
Description CRM (Coastal Research & Management) combines the knowledge of experts from different scientific branches in building modern integrated coastal zone management schemes.
Partners None


Project reference LIFE07 ENV/D/000229
Duration 01-JAN-2009 to 31-DEC -2011
Total budget 828,144.00 €
EU contribution 414,072.00 €
Project location Schleswig-Holstein(Deutschland)


Read more:

Leaflet Project's flyer (German)
Poster "Kieler Lachsforelle" (996 KB)
Poster "Ökologische Marikultur: Zertifi zierung von marin ...
Poster "Raubfischerei : dimensionen der netze" (179 KB)
Poster "Polykultur mit umweltneutraler Bilanz" (381 KB)
Poster "Miesmuschelzucht" (943 KB)
Poster "Algenzucht" (606 KB)
Poster "Leben am Meeresboden" (515 KB)
Project web site Project's website (DE)
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan After-LIFE Communication Plan
Publication: Guidelines-Manual "Leitfaden für nachhaltige marine Aquakultur" (7.2 ...
Publication: Layman report Layman report
Publication: Technical report Project's Final technical report


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version