Aquaculture boostA new EU plan aims to increase organic aquaculture. Photo: Quentin Bates

The European Commission has published a new action plan that is set to boost organic agriculture and aquaculture in Europe.

This plan will boost the production and consumption of organic products to achieve a significant increase in organic aquaculture. The plan for the development of the organic sector puts forward actions structured around three axis: boosting consumption while maintaining consumer trust, increasing production and improving sustainability.

Common fisheries policy

The common fisheries policy provides for means to promote the sustainable development of EU aquaculture. The upcoming new Commission strategic guidelines for EU aquaculture (to be adopted next month) will promote organic aquaculture as one of the ways to increase the sustainability of aquaculture production.

EU Member States are also encouraged to include organic aquaculture in the (ongoing) review of their national strategic plans and support this type of aquaculture production with part of the funds available under the new European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF 2021-2027).

Horizon Europe will continue to support research an innovation for organic aquaculture. In addition, the EU method of policy coordination for aquaculture (so called Open Method of Coordination) will continue to allow EU Member States and stakeholders to exchange best practices and innovative approaches to further develop organic aquaculture.

Top 5 aquaculture producers

The top five EU countries with the largest organic aquaculture production volumes in 2019 were Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain and Bulgaria.

In Europe, the main species produced under organic standards in 2015 were salmon, mussels, carp, trout, seabass and seabream.

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