Aquaculture policy in the EU
The sustainable development of aquaculture in the European Union is one of the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) Regulation By contrast to fisheries, aquaculture is mainly a competence of EU Member States. However, different pieces of EU legislation are applicable to this activity, e.g. environmental and animal health legislation, and Members States need to ensure their implementation. Furthermore, the CFP Regulation established an “open method of coordination” to support the growth of the EU aquaculture sector while ensuring its economic, environmental and social sustainability.
The strategic coordination on aquaculture policy in the EU is based on the Commission’s Strategic Guidelines for the sustainable development of EU aquaculture (first adopted in 2013), and the multi-annual national strategic plans (MNSPs) for aquaculture prepared by Member States considering those guidelines. The implementation of these MNSPs has been supported by the exchange of good practices among EU Member States facilitated by the Commission, as well as by funding made available in the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and other EU funds. In addition, an Aquaculture Advisory Council (AAC, representing stakeholders including industry and other interest groups such as NGOs) provides advice to the Commission on issues related to aquaculture policy.
The strategic guidelines
Following an evaluation of the open method of coordination for aquaculture, the Commission decided to review the 2013 Strategic Guidelines to take into consideration lessons learnt and reflect developments since their adoption. The Commission has worked closely with Member States experts and the AAC in the preparation of the new strategic guidelines. The Commission has invited EU Member States to review their MNSPs taking into consideration this work. The European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF, 2021-2027) will continue to provide support to EU Member States to help implement their strategy for the sector, as reflected in their respective MNSP.
The review of the Strategic Guidelines gained a new meaning with both the adoption of the European Green Deal agenda and the outbreak of Covid-19. The European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy underline the potential of farmed seafood as a source of protein for food and feed with a low carbon footprint, which has an important role to play in helping build a sustainable food system. The EU approach to the recovery from the economic crisis following the outbreak of Covid-19 is centred on the objectives of green and digital transitions of the EU economy. The EU aquaculture sector should also play a role in this recovery.
The objective of the new guidelines is to provide a common vision for the Commission, the EU Member States and stakeholders for the further growth of aquaculture in the EU as a sector that is more competitive and resilient and becomes a global reference in terms of sustainability. The guidelines also aim at ensuring that EU aquaculture contributes to the objectives of the European Green Deal agenda.
The guidelines will also be an opportunity to provide visibility to the role that the aquaculture sector can play in terms of its contribution to broad policy objectives, including those defined in the European Green Deal. They should also help EU consumers make informed choices of sustainable aquaculture products and to ensure a level playing field for aquaculture products marketed in the EU.
Finally, the guidelines should also help guide the use of the many instruments and funds available to support EU aquaculture, as well as support the implementation of applicable EU legislation.
New strategic guidelines
Please click on the links below to access the documents:
COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEANPARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS - Strategic guidelines for a more sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture for the period 2021 to 2030
ANNEX to the COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIALCOMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS - Strategic guidelines for a more sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture for the period 2021 to 2030
Please chick here to access the press release related to the New Strategic Guidelines.