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Keynote speech by Lowri Evans at the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers' Conference, 'Aquaculture in Motion 2014', Committee of the Regions, Brussels 1 December 2014
In response to the concerns raised by several citizens about animal welfare in fish farming, the European Commission would like to clarify that the health and welfare of farmed fish is important for EU aquaculture.


Farming finfish, shellfish and aquatic plants is one of the world's fastest growing food sectors, it already provides the planet with about half of all the fish we eat.

A fifth of EU fish production by volume comes from aquaculture. © Lionel Flageul

In Europe, aquaculture accounts for about 20% of fish production and directly employs some 80 000 people. EU aquaculture is renowned for its high quality, sustainability and consumer protection standards.

EU overall output has been more or less constant in volume since 2000 whereas global production has been growing at nearly 7% per year.

The Commission intends to boost aquaculture through the Common Fisheries Policy reform, and has published Strategic Guidelines presenting common priorities and general objectives at EU level. Four priority areas have been identified in consultation with all relevant stakeholders:

  • reducing administrative burdens
  • improving access to space and water
  • increasing competitiveness
  • exploiting competitive advantages due to high quality, health and environmental standards.

On the basis of the guidelines, the Commission and EU countries will collaborate to help increasing the sector's production and competitiveness. EU countries are asked to set up multiannual plans to promote aquaculture. The Commission will help with the coordination and exchange of best practices.

Farmed in the EU - a spin off of the Inseparable campaign, promotes sustainable seafood and highlights the importance of aquaculture, as one of the world's fastest growing food sectors.

Official documents

Strategic Guidelines for the sustainable development of EU aquaculture - COM/2013/229 pdf - 413 KB [413 KB] български (bg) čeština (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti keel (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) français (fr) italiano (it) latviešu valoda (lv) lietuvių kalba (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv) - Communication to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions (29/04/2013)

Regulation (EU) No 304/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2011 amending Council Regulation (EC) No 708/2007 concerning use of alien and locally absent species in aquaculture

Commission Regulation (EC) No 710/2009 of 5 August 2009 amending Regulation (EC) No 889/2008 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007, as regards laying down detailed rules on organic aquaculture animal and seaweed production

Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 of 28 June 2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council, Building a sustainable future for aquaculture, A new impetus for the Strategy for the Sustainable Development of European Aquaculture - COM/2009/0162 final

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament: A strategy for the sustainable development of European aquaculture - COM/2002/0511 final

Further reading: