ILVO Newsletter December 2017

Hot of the press

Commercial fisheries and seabed disturbance: from black-and-white to complex and nuanced

BenthisWhat exactly are the consequences of demersal trawling for the seafloor? Thirty-three partners, including ILVO, spread across all the coasts of the EU, have conducted 4 years of intensive research on this topic. The results indicate that the consequences of seafloor disturbance are highly dependent on the types of trawl, on fishing intensity and on the type of habitat. The issue of seafloor disturbance is therefore not as black-and-white as it is sometimes suggested: it is in fact full of complexity and nuance.

Hope for recovery. The current status of the soil fauna in the seabed-protected zones of the Flemish Banks.

soil faunaIn the future, some zones in our part of the North Sea will be protected against seabed disturbance, with the aim of restoring the local benthic communities. But what does the seabed in those areas look like now? And what about the status of the fauna living there? ILVO and RBINS examined the seabed protected zones and see potential for recovery.

Zinc and the intestinal health of broiler chickens

broiler chickensIn a 4-year research project ILVO and UGENT attempt to unravel the impact and the mode of action of zinc at the intestinal level in broilers. A first trial reveals a positive effect of supplementation of zinc-amino acid complexes on the intestinal morphology and oxidative stress.

Ready, set, go!

Better protection of water resources in agricultural areas across Europe

waterprotectThe European WATERPROTECT project aims to contribute to the development and implementation of new agricultural practices focused on improving water quality in areas where water quality is under severe pressure due to fertilization and the use of crop protection products.

From new technology to personalized, balanced foods. Knowledge transfer and implementation of technologies in the food industry with the goal of producing balanced food (FOODINNOTECH)

foodinnotechThe aim of FoodInnoTech is to help companies to improve the production of personalized and balanced food adapted to target groups while keeping the production energy efficient and profitable. Personalized food products must meet special requirements for nutritional value, flavor and texture – and producing these foods in an energy-efficient as well as profitable way requires new technologies. The role of ILVO in FoodInnoTech is to bring this knowledge to food producers and help them to implement innovative technologies.

Farmer-to-farmer learning: On-farm learning practices in Europe

agridemoAre demonstration activities on farms effective catalysts for innovation and sustainable development in agriculture? How can we promote farmer-to-farmer learning across Europe? In the context of the European project AgriDemo-F2F, ILVO investigates ‘best practices’ for demonstration activities.

Iron deficiency in rhododendrons? Development of rhododendrons for non-acidic soils

rhodolimeWhy do rhododendrons like acidic soil? How can you test plants regarding their tolerance for a higher pH? As a partner of the RHODOLIME project, ILVO paves the way for a more efficient, faster breeding of rhododendron. The market for rhododendrons can expand considerably if cultivars can be developed that can also grow in less acidic soils.


Fish versus Fleet: balance or imbalance? The Belgian Fleet Report gives an overview of the fleet capacity, catches, activity and status of the stock.

fleetWhat is the balance between the capacity of the Belgian fleet and the available fish?
To find the answer on this question, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, in partnership with ILVO, compiles the Fleet Report for Belgian fisheries.
If an imbalance occurs, e.g., when a certain stock is under pressure or fleet capacity is too high, Belgium needs to develop an Action Plan with measures to bring it back into balance.

The pursuit of rays. Towards improved mangement of ray stocks in the North Sea and English Channel

ray - SumarisWithin the Interreg 2 Seas project « Sumaris », ILVO will collect biological, economic and data on the most important ray species in the North Sea and the English Channel. Under the current mangement of rays and skates, no distinction is made between the different species (vulnerable vs. less vulnerable). The analysis of all collected data would help in development of a joint-strategy management system. The ultimate goal is more efficient mangement and correct implementation of the Landing Obbligation.