(29 April 2013) – To boost the development of EU aquaculture, the European Commission has issued strategic guidelines, thereby cooperating with Member States and stakeholders in overcoming the challenges facing the sector.
The aquaculture industry can help fill the gap between an ever growing consumption of seafood and dwindling fish stocks. In fact, it can provide a viable alternative to overfishing and generate growth and jobs in both coastal and inland areas.
In other parts of the world – in particular Asia – the industry is booming. In the EU it is stagnating, partly because of slow licensing procedures and administrative inefficiencies at different levels. In 2010, the value of EU aquaculture production was € 3.1 billion for 1.26 million tons of production. This corresponds to about 2% of global aquaculture production.
The guidelines identify a mix of measures like administrative simplification, spatial planning, market organisation, diversification, better labelling and information, to help market forces unlock the potential of the EU aquaculture sector.