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Aquaculture: strategic guidelines under discussion

(19/12/2012) On 23 November, the Commission organised a conference in La Coruña (Galicia, Spain) on European aquaculture, together with the Spanish and Galician governments. The aim was to gather suggestions from Member States, producers and stakeholders for the future "Strategic guidelines for the sustainable development of EU aquaculture".

As part of the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), the Commission is encouraging Member States to strengthen cooperation on a number of identified obstacles that prevent the full development of EU aquaculture. Following the adoption of the strategic guidelines, Member States are encouraged to prepare their multiannual national plans for the sustainable development of European aquaculture, which has been stagnating for over ten years.

Four key areas appeared to be of special importance and could represent key objectives of the Strategic Guidelines:

  1. To simplify administrative procedures, in particular for licencing.
  2. To secure allocation of water and space for freshwater and marine aquaculture in coordinated spatial planning.
  3. To promote business diversification to provide additional sources of income and sustainable aquaculture growth.
  4. To utilise all competitive factors, such as the European Union’s high production standards.

There was broad consensus on the challenge of filling the growing food security gap between the level of consumption of seafood in the EU and the volume of captures from fisheries, and the role that EU aquaculture can play for the growth and wealth of coastal and rural communities