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EU calls industry to embrace aquaculture

Staff Writer | February 7, 2018
The European Commission is calling on all EU countries to embrace aquaculture as a recovering industry and a valuable source of healthy food.
Seafood   #FARMEDintheEU Regions
At #FARMEDintheEU Regions, a conference organised by the European Commission and the Committee of the Regions, Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, stressed the need for even greater buy-in.

“We need to plan ahead now to provide more fish, shellfish and algae in a sustainable, responsible way,” Commissioner Vella said.

"Of course, we must continue our work on sustainable wild fisheries, but if we are to get more seafood, it has to come from farming. Having many small, well-planned farming actions at regional scale, and helping consumers to make informed, responsible choices is the key to success."

After more than a decade of stagnation, the Commission said that EU aquaculture is finally showing signs of recovery achieving a 4% growth in volume and 8% in value between 2014 and 2015 with profits exceeding €400 million.

It said that this success is in part due to strong cooperation between the Commission and national authorities to remove barriers to growth, including cutting red tape for governments.

The conference saw the Commission unveil a series of new guidelines on the accommodation of aquaculture within the EU environmental rules, as well as information on planning and business authorisation.

The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund provides €1.2 billion exclusively for aquaculture.

This money is there to help farms invest, grow, become more innovative and efficient and also to help attract more private investment.

The aim is to see a 25% growth in aquaculture by 2020 across Member States.