Novel Designs for Integrated Multitrophic Aquaculture Systems (IMTA)

$25,000 USD

Challenge overview


Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) involves the farming of species from different trophic levels (nutritional positions) in the same system. A well-balanced system can become truly circular, satisfying the needs of the system from within, and limiting the exchange with the external world to a minimum. The Seeker is looking for input on how to structure a land-based IMTA system along the Red Sea within Saudi Arabia, which aims to produce 600,000 metric tons each year of aquaculture products by 2030.

This Theoretical Challenge requires only a written proposal.



Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture is not a new concept, and has been proven to preserve the environmental integrity of the surrounding ecosystem. Examples are farming multiple species of fish in the same pond, combining shrimp with fish in ponds, growing seaweed in shrimp or finfish ponds, having bivalves grow on the bottom of fishponds, or having sea cucumbers feed on the detritus from fish swimming above. 

The operational viability of a system is determined by exactly which species (and the sequence of said species) are incorporated into the system. This is to optimize the flow and circularity of effluent streams, ensure the survivability of the species, and maximize the commercial output. The Seeker desires innovative, theoretical designs for a land-based IMTA system along the Red Sea that is scalable, aesthetically pleasing, and creates a nutrient-free output.

This is a Theoretical Challenge that requires only a written proposal to be submitted. The Challenge award will be contingent upon theoretical evaluation of the proposal by the Seeker.

To receive an award, the Solvers will not have to transfer their exclusive IP rights to the Seeker. Instead, Solvers will grant to the Seeker a non-exclusive license to practice their solutions. 

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on January 30, 2023. 

Late submissions will not be considered.


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