Fisheries

Commission's top scientific advisers publish opinion on Food from the Oceans

Commission's top scientific advisers publish opinion on Food from the Oceans

Commission's top scientific advisers publish opinion on Food from the Oceans

30/11/2017

Today, the High Level Group of the Commission's Scientific Advice Mechanism has published a new scientific opinion on 'Food from the Oceans'. The advisers were asked to look at how more food and biomass can be obtained from the oceans in a way that does not deprive future generations of their benefits.

The High Level Group formulates policy recommendations to help meet the demands of a global population approaching 10 billion by 2050. Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: “The growing global population can't be fed by agriculture alone. Luckily, there is vast potential in the ocean. This report will help in two ways. It points to how we can get more food from the ocean. And it indicates how to do that sustainably."

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, added: "This substantive opinion and comprehensive evidence review shows that the Commission's Scientific Advice Mechanism is going from strength to strength. I am confident that the value of this opinion will be recognised not just by European policy makers, but also by national governments and all those who care about the future of our oceans."

Spotlight on the recommendations: take into account producer and consumer needs for a balanced food production framework – expand consumption of species lower in the food chain (i.e. algae and shellfish) – consider fish farming in sustainable fisheries partnership agreements between the EU and southern partner countries.

As announced by President Juncker on 13 May 2015, the Commission set up the Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) to contribute to the quality of EU legislation with scientific expertise. It has already presented valuable opinions in areas such as CO2 emissions from cars, cybersecurity and biotech. A news item and the scientific opinion are available online.