HomeInnovationCircular economy in the fish supply chain, EcoeFISHent. Online advanced training course

Circular economy in the fish supply chain, EcoeFISHent. Online advanced training course

The University of Genoa (Italy) organizes an advanced training course online on the circular economy in the fish supply chain, as part of the Horizon 2020 #EcoeFISHent research project. Valorisation of fishing and fish industries side-streams background knowledge. (1)

1) Circular economy in the fish supply chain, enormous unexpressed potential

The fish supply chain – in both phases of fishing, or aquaculture, and industrial processing (ie fish canning) – generates significant amounts of lateral flows (ie side streams) which are still managed as waste, when not subject to recycling for the production of feed e petfood.

Skin, bones, heads, entrails are instead rich in bioactive elements and substances such as oils, collagen, gelatin, or biopeptides that lend themselves to virtuous recovery (upcycling) for the production of functional foods and food supplements (2,3,4), but also drugs and cosmetics.

The project research EcoeFISHent is dedicated to optimizing side stream reuse processes and at the same time minimizing the impact of the fish supply chain on the environment, thanks to the use of green technologies to manage processing sludge. (5)

2) EcoeFISHent, the advanced training course online

The course organized higher education online from the University of Genoa has the specific purpose of sharing the state of the art on the circular economy in the fish supply chain, by sharing the knowledge and experience gained by the consortium partners of the EcoeFISHent research project.

Our team of WIISE – FARE participates in this research project to examine the applicable EU rules (existing and in the making) and produce policy brief aimed at harmonizing the law environment with the concrete needs of sustainable development in agri-food and contiguous systems.

3) Structure of the course

The Department of Earth Sciences, of the Environment and Life of the University of Genoa organized the course in 160 hours of lessons. 58 hours of frontal lessons and 102 hours of self-learning through access to the teaching material placed on the platform. The teaching is divided into four modules:

1) Blue Circular Economy (22 hours face to face, 42 hours individual)
2) Food and Sustainability (20 hours face to face, 38 hours individual)
3) Regulations and Logistics (12 hours face to face, 22 hours individual)

A further 4 frontal hours are foreseen for a phase of study and evaluation of the skills acquired by the participants.

4) Registrations

The inscriptions are already open and expire on 19 September 2023 (12.00 CEST). The lessons, in English, begin on 17 October 2023 and end on 21 May 2024. The course is free, precisely because it is funded by the Horizon 2020 research framework programme. Students are only required to pay €16 upon of the enrollment.

5 ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer System) – useful for facilitating the recognition of the course at an international level (6) – are awarded upon completion of the course, together with a certificate of attendance signed by its director Prof.ssa Elena Grasselli.

5) Why to participate

Agri-food systems often deserve to be redesigned to optimize circular economy performance. Not only to improve socio-environmental 'sustainability' but above all for economic reasons. Reduce production and environmental costs, valorise waste, create jobs, increase sales. (7)

Upcycling it is the main road, as we have seen. (8) Another research project, Wasteless, in Horizon Europe is dedicated to this theme. (9) And the circular economy through upcycling of waste from the fish supply chain is so crucial that it was expressly mentioned in the FAO 2023 report on food security. (10)

Dario Dongo and Andrea Adelmo Della Penna

Cover image by Al Khawli, Fadila & Ferrer, & Berrada, Houda & Barba, Francisco & Pateiro, Mirian & Domínguez, Rubén & Lorenzo, Jose M. & Gullón, & Kousoulak. (2019). Innovative Green Technologies of Intensification for Valorization of Seafood and Their By-Products. Marine Drugs. doi:10.3390/md17120689


(1) EcoeFISHent valorization of fishing and fish industries side-streams background knowledge. https://ecoefishent.eu/advanced-training-course/

(2) Dario Dongo, Andrea Adelmo Della Penna. Upcycling. Omega-3 from waste from the fish industry. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 29.10.21

(3) Dario Dongo. Fishmeal, a huge unexpressed potential. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 9.12.22

(4) Dario Dongo, Alessandra Mei. Aquaculture, reduction and upcycling of fish waste in proteins, Omega-3 and micronutrients. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 20.6.23

(5) Dario Dongo, Andrea Adelmo Della Penna. EcoeFISHent, upcycling and blue economy in the fish supply chain. The EU research project. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade).

(6) European Commission. European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) https://education.ec.europa.eu/it/education-levels/higher-education/inclusive-and-connected-higher-education/european-credit-transfer-and-accumulation-system

(7) Dario Dongo, Giulia Pietrollini. Circular economy in agri-food systems, an economic urgency. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 4.5.23

(8) Dario Dongo. Upcycling, the main road to research and innovation. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 1.1.23

(9) Dario Dongo, Andrea Adelmo Della Penna. Wasteless, EU research project on circular economy and blockchain. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade).

(10) Dario Dongo. State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2023. Report FAO et al. GIFTS (Great Italian Food Trade).

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Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.

Andrea Adelmo Della Penna
+ posts

Graduated in Food Technologies and Biotechnologies, qualified food technologist, he follows the research and development area. With particular regard to European research projects (in Horizon 2020, PRIMA) where the FARE division of WIISE Srl, a benefit company, participates.

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