THE European Commission has placed aquaculture at the heart of its plan to significantly increase organic food production.

It has prepared an action plan in line with its European Green Deal and tied in with agriculture through its ‘Farm To Fork’ and Biodiversity Strategy.

The Commission says it wants to encourage member states to include increased organic aquaculture in their reviewed Multi-annual National Strategic plans for fish farming.

It is a strategy which could help countries like Ireland where much of its salmon is organically produced.

“Organic aquaculture can help meet consumer demand for diversified high quality food produced in a way that respects the environment and ensures animal welfare,” says the Commission report.” It can also help ease pressure on wild fish stocks.

This strategy should help countries like Ireland where much of its salmon is organically produced.

The new guidelines on the sustainable development of EU aquaculture, expected to be adopted by the Commission in this spring, will encourage member states and stakeholders to support the increase in organic production.

The report claims organic aquaculture can help meet consumer demand for diversified high quality food produced in a way that respects the environment and ensures animal welfare.

Beginning next year, the Commission intends to:-

· support research and innovation on alternative sources of nutrients, breeding and animal welfare in aquaculture; the promotion of investments on adapted polyculture and multi-trophic aquaculture systems; and the promotion of hatcheries and nurseries activities for organic juveniles; and

· identify and address as appropriate any specific obstacles to the growth of EU organic aquaculture

The report concludes: “A sustainable and resilient agricultural and aquaculture sector depends on enhanced biodiversity, which is fundamental for a healthy ecosystem and critical for maintaining nutrients cycles in the soil, clean water and pollinators. Increased biodiversity allows farmers to adapt better to climate change.

“The organic sector is by its very nature oriented towards higher environmental standards, enshrined in its objectives and principles. “

 

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