Alessia Cariani

Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna, Inter-Departmental Centre for Research in Environmental Sciences, Via Sant’Alberto 163, Ravenna, Italy





PRIZEFISH deals with the dual goal to develop cross-border fishery supply-chain and value-chain in the Adriatic and to capitalize such cross-border innovation for increasing the potential of long-term economic, environmental and social sustainability in the Adriatic coastal territories by piloting eco-innovative and added-value seafood products obtained from local and sustainable fisheries and advanced technological processes.

PRIZEFISH project is embedded in the Interreg Italy - Croatia CBC Programme within the first Priority Axes “Blue Innovation” with the specific objective 1.1 - Enhance the framework conditions for innovation in the relevant sectors of the blue economy within the cooperation area. PRIZEFISH is leaded by Alessia Cariani, Associate Professor at the University of Bologna, Interdepartmental Research Centre for Environmental Sciences (CIRSA) of Ravenna.

The PRIZEFISH partnership was built under a quadruple helix approach merging skills and competences from University & Research Institutes, Fishing SMEs & POs, Territorial development bodies and no-profit organizations/NGOs from Adriatic coastal regions of the neighbouring countries Italy and Croatia.

PRIZEFISH fixed three main Specific Objectives, each associated to a Thematic Work Package:

SO1. Key-enabling technologies for environmental-economic sustainable Adriatic fishery, to improve the framework conditions of Adriatic fishery. SO1 is targeted by WP3-Piloting of sustainable and eco-certified fishery productions.

SO2. Enabling SMEs to produce eco-labelled added-value Adriatic seafood, to enhance the competitiveness of the Adriatic fishery industry to become more sustainable, better managed and more efficient than today. SO2 is targeted by WP4-Innovating tools and processes for added-value Adriatic fishery products.

SO3. Increasing Adriatic SMEs and POs competitiveness to penetrate fishery EU/non-EU markets, filling the gap between fishery production and marketing of eco-labelled products. SO3 is targeted by WP5-Building up value chain and marketing of Adriatic eco-innovative fishery products.


WP3 developed a set of standards and procedures for the assessment and certification of Adriatic fishery products coming from a ‘responsible fishery’ under the environmental, social and economic axes. Italian and Croatian fisheries (as combination of species/gears) were mapped and selected for a potential interest in a certification process, taking into account the selectivity of the fishing technique as well as the commercial value. Several consultation meetings with the relevant fishing operators have been organised in both Italy and Croatia to verify with stakeholders this potential. The WP3 leader CNR-IRBIM developed the core of the certification process by setting three main “key principles” or “pillars” for evaluating fisheries (1. Governance; 2. Environment; 3. Socio-Economic). The newly developed Adriatic Responsible Fisheries Management (ARFM) scoring system will be used to assess the full, partial or no compliance of a fishery with responsible management rules. WP3 will perform a pre-assessment of selected fisheries in order to have a fist overview of their consistency with the ARFM standards as well to develop action plans to ameliorate their performance and fill the gaps evidenced in the pre-assessment. Specific surveys will be carried out among the fishery operators to verify the appeal of eco-labelled fisheries and products and to train the operators in the promotion, commercialization and marketing of sustainable products. If and when the Standards will be formally registered in the region, the ARFM certification programme will become operational in the Adriatic Sea. This will offer to Adriatic fishing SMEs the opportunity to add value to their products and, potentially, penetrate new markets and reach new consumers.

WP4. Within WP4 three private producer organizations (POs), the Croatian Omega3 and Istra and the Italian Bivalvia, are applying innovative technologies in catching/harvesting and processing of fish and shellfish species for creating innovative value-added products. Technologically innovated processes are also disseminated to Italian and Croatian operators of the fishery sector and fishermen through specifically designed trainings and workshops for SMEs and their employees. To reach the goal of fishing better (i.e. fishing less but sale at higher price!), the PO have conducted different piloting activities as developing “sea pumps” for improved catching & handling of small pelagic fish (Omega3), innovative processing technology for shrimp de-pealing (Istra), innovative clam harvesting tool and cold chain process improvement (Bivalvia). These piloting actions increased quality of the catches, affected positively both social and safety aspects of fishermen, as well as support the welfare of caught species by returning juveniles to sea. Besides piloted innovative technologies, new seafood products have been created, using the most advanced treatments in order to extend the shelf life. These achievements will support logistic operations, enabling the reach of distance markets, while keeping the products’ best nutrient properties for the final consumers. Omega3 has prolonged the chilled sardine fillets shelf life by 4 days using ozone and MAP (Argon and CO2 mixture), while Istra has prolonged of 15 days the shelf life of chilled shrimp-burgers treated with High Pressure Processing (HPP). Bivalvia is innovating clam products testing the shelf life of the ready to cook clams with tomato sauce also treated with HPP.

WP5 aims to analyse both the supply chain of Adriatic fishery products and the consumer aptitude to traditional and innovative seafood. This is realized through a combination of analysis from the supply and the demand side of the market, using secondary data (i.e. official time series of prices and quantities at production, trade and retail level) and ad hoc surveys conducted with supply-chain actors and consumers. Consumers are consulted through a double methodology including online virtual rooms (i.e., a new approach replacing traditional focus groups in the Covid-19 era) and web interviews. Particular interest is given to the triangular trade network including Croatia, Italy and Spain, being the last one the main EU market for seafood products. Thanks to this preliminary analysis and data collection, and building on the results obtained at technological, management and institutional level in WP3 and WP4, eco-innovative business models will be designed for at least three products (i.e. sardine fillets under an innovative modified atmosphere; clams and burgers/tartare of fish and crustaceans treated with high hydrostatic pressure technology), in order to identify new valorisation paths for local resources. Particular focus will be put on: innovative chain organization and networks; branding and labelling strategies; processing and preparation; distribution channels.



• Alma Mater Studiorum -University of Bologna (Leading Partner)

• National Research Council, Institute for Biological Resources and Marine Biotechnologies – CNR-IRBIM

• Agency for Agrifood Sector Services of Marche - ASSAM

• Experimental Centre for Habitat Conservation - CESTHA

• Secondary High School ‘Remo Brindisi’ - Pole of Sea Crafts

• National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics – OGS

• O.P. Bivalvia Veneto S.C.

• Emilia-Romagna Region


• Zadar County

• Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries - IOF

• Fisherman’s Cooperative Omega3

• Fishing Cooperative Istra

• Ministry of Agriculture

• Public Institution RERA S.D. for coordination and development of Split- Dalmatia County






€ 3.120.000

ERF Funding

€ 2.650.000

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Geographical coverage
  • Mediterranean (widespread)
Intended Users
  • Administrations/Authorities
  • Businessmen/Companies
  • General public
  • Job seekers/Employers
  • Organisations/Associations
  • Policy-makers/managers/planners
  • Researchers and scientists
Source of funding
  • EU Funds
  • Aquaculture
  • Environment
  • Fisheries/Marine resources
  • Maritime stakeholders / clusters
  • Scientific research / technologies / innovation
Country of project partners
  • Albania
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Croatia (Hrvatska)
  • Italy
  • Montenegro
  • Slovenia