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Research in the field of fisheries and aquaculture is funded mainly through the FP7 theme 2 on "Food, Agriculture and Fisheries and Biotechnologies". It seeks to promote the necessary knowledge base for the sustainable management of Europe’s fisheries as well as for the sustainable and competitive development of aquaculture. Efforts are also dedicated to research on the functioning of marine ecosystems and their biotechnological potential.

The main objectives of fisheries and aquaculture research within FP7 can be summarized as follows:

Providing a scientific basis for responsible, ecosystem-based and sustainable management of Europe’s fisheries

By improving the scientific and technical basis of fisheries management through FP7 research projects, a better understanding of interactions in the ecosystem can be achieved, promoting greater sustainability in the harvesting of marine resources, while safeguarding consumer health.

Providing research for a sustainable and competitive culture of healthy and safe aquatic products

Aquaculture is the fastest growing animal production sector in Europe. It is supported by a self-sustainable industry and scientific excellence. Yet, its full potential still needs to be realised in Europe. FP7 research is necessary, among others, to ensure disease prevention and the safety and quality of a variety of aquaculture products, while protecting the environment.

In-depth understanding of marine ecosystems functioning to support the implementation of the ecosystem-based management approach in fisheries

The impacts of fishing on marine ecosystems as well as complex interactions between fisheries and the environment (i.e. impact of climate change) need to be better understood. Research on such topics will help progress towards the sustainable exploitation of fish stocks taking into consideration balanced ecological, social, and economic objectives. Projects funded in this area have strong links with FP7 Theme 6 "Environment including climate change", and especially with the activity focusing on the management of marine ecosystems.

Contributing to better integration between marine and maritime research disciplines in support to the EU maritime policy

In order to solve complex issues and find consistent solutions for exploiting the oceans in a sustainable way, wide cooperation and synergies between different scientific disciplines should be encouraged as mentioned in the European Strategy for Marine and Maritime Research (COM 2008 (534 final). One of the key initiatives put forward in the recent years is to launch joint calls for proposals on major sea-related challenges requiring a cross-thematic approach. The call "The ocean of tomorrow" FP7-OCEAN-2010 is the Commission's first realisation to implement this commitment. A second call "The ocean of tomorrow" has been published in July 2010.

Additional links:

FP7-OCEAN-2011 InfoDay: