European Commission in call to cut admin burden on aquaculture

Fish farm (photo: Vladislav Gajic)

The European Commission has published guidance aimed at helping member states promote sustainable aquaculture.

The move, in the form of two working documents, comes in response to producer calls to reduce the administrative burden on establishing and operating sites within the union.

The Commission says the main objective of the guidance is to help unlock the great potential of fish farming.

Aquaculture production in the EU has not grown at the same pace as in other parts of the world. It only accounts for 10% of the fish and seafood consumed by the population  and for less than 2% of world production.

The documents address two important obstacles to aquaculture growth across many EU Member States. These are, first, a complex regulatory framework and unnecessarily difficult administrative procedures; and secondly, difficulties in access to space and water necessary for the development of marine aquaculture.

Proposals include streamlining the regulatory and administrative framework and ensuring adequate planning and allocation of space for marine aquaculture

The Commission says they consolidate good practices and provide concrete examples of how they have been applied in some EU Member States.

Given the proximity of Norway and the UK to the EU, and the importance of their aquaculture sectors, the documents also look at good practices in those jurisdictions.

The Commission hopes that these documents will support EU Member States in achieving their objectives, as set out in their own multi-annual national strategic plans for aquaculture and their national programmes implementing the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund.

Later this year, the Commission will publish a document on access to space and water for freshwater and land-based aquaculture. It says aquaculture is a sector that is subject to continuous innovation and technological development.

The two documents are available to download in PDF format:

Implementing the Strategic Guidelines for EU aquaculture: Regulatory and administrative framework for aquaculture

Implementing the Strategic Guidelines on EU Aquaculture: Planning of space and access to water for marine aquaculture

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