The guidelines build on experience at EU and national strategic level and take into account developments, including research and innovation or the use of EU funding, since the adoption of the previous guidelines.
The new guidelines respond to calls in the Farm to Fork strategy to accelerate the transition to a sustainable EU food system, recognising the potential of sustainable aquaculture to provide food and feed with a low carbon footprint.
The Commission aims at engaging all relevant stakeholders in the development of the EU aquaculture as a sector that supplies nutritious and healthy food with a low environmental and climate footprint, that creates economic opportunities and jobs, and becomes a global reference for sustainability and quality. In particular, the guidelines have the following objectives
- building resilience and competitiveness of the EU aquaculture sector
- ensuring the participation of the EU aquaculture sector in the green transition
- fostering social acceptance and improved consumer information on EU aquaculture activities and products
- increasing knowledge and innovation in the EU aquaculture sector
The strategic guidelines identify 13 areas where further work is needed to promote the sustainability, competitiveness and resilience of EU aquaculture. The guidelines provide specific recommendations and propose concrete actions by the Commission, EU countries and the Aquaculture Advisory Council.
EU countries have reviewed their national aquaculture strategies in light of the guidelines, which will also structure the use of relevant EU funding, in particular the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (2021-2027).
The EU also supports research and innovation on key aspects of European aquaculture. From its interactions with the environment and health and nutrition of farmed fish, to reproduction and breeding. Research and innovation on sustainable aquaculture is a priority under Horizon Europe, the EU framework programme for research and innovation.