Press Releases :: Commissioner Vella hosts "Farmed in the EU" event at Expo Milan 2015
(27/05/2015) On Friday 22nd of May, Commissioner Karmenu Vella hosted the event "Aquaculture in Europe: a model for the future" at the Expo Milan 2015.
The conference brought together key actors such as producers, researchers, NGOs and consumers to look at how European aquaculture can help meet the ever growing demand for fish, by ensuring sufficient, good, healthy and sustainable food for all mankind.
Commissioner Vella pointed out that consumption of fishery products has almost doubled in the last fifty years reaching 20kg per person and that half of this comes from aquaculture. Although fish farming is growing at an impressive average rate of 6% every year across the world, in Europe the numbers are stagnating. This is why the European Commission has asked each Member State to define a strategy and find ways to help aquaculture grow. From his side, Commissioner Vella said he will help with "practical guidance on EU legislation, without lowering environmental standards". After emphasizing that the public needs to know about the "outstanding quality of home grown produce", he then concluded that "seafood farmed in the EU is fresh, tasty and healthy; it meets the most stringent environmental and consumer protection standards."
Participants then discussed the different challenges facing aquaculture as well as its future prospects. These conclusions will be fed into the work that the European Commission is doing in this policy area.
A ceremony also took place to recognise the three winners among the 20 European schools that have participated in the pilot project of the "Farmed in the EU,” in which students met local fish farmers and produced material to explain the sector in their regions. The aim of this project was to show the human face of a sector that is still unknown to many citizens.
A "school kit" has been designed to help teachers plan and run similar projects in their schools focusing on any relevant subject from Nutrition & Cooking to Science & Technology, or Communication and Arts.