Opportunities for the development of EU aquaculture
In 2007 the Commission opened a public consultation to invite stakeholders to express their views on the further development of sustainable aquaculture in the EU. The consultation closed on 15 July 2007.
The aquaculture industry is gaining increasing importance with falling catches of wild fish and increasing global demands for seafood. According to projections made by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, most of the future demand for seafood is expected to be met by aquaculture.
Aquaculture in the EU is well placed to seize this opportunity. The EU has a strong market for seafood, a long tradition of freshwater and marine fish and shellfish cultivation, dynamic and advanced research, modern technology, qualified and trained entrepreneurs and fish farmers, suitable climatic conditions and sites for the species currently farmed.
However, our aquaculture sector also faces a number of challenges which have an impact on production. These include limitation of space and of water of good quality, and measures to protect public health and the environment. The high Community standards put European aquaculture at the forefront of sustainable development in the world, both in terms of social and environmental impacts, but make it more difficult to compete price-wise with third-country producers especially in Asia and in South-America where aquaculture production growth is the highest in the world.
In 2002, the European Commission presented a Communication on a Strategy for the sustainable development of European aquaculture, which gave a ten-year vision of aquaculture aimed at reaching the status of a stable industry guaranteeing long-term secure employment, which was able to cope with the main problems identified, ensuring health and environmental protection. Five years the Commisison launched a debate with all stakeholders on the further development of sustainable aquaculture in the European Community.
FOREWORD by Commissioner Borg [18 KB]
Consultation document [66 KB]
Background document [78 KB]