Aquaculture provides 45 per cent of the total fish consumed in Malaga. (Photo: Junta de Andalucia/ Stock File)
Network aims to boost sustainable aquaculture in Andalusia
Tuesday, April 13, 2010, 02:20 (GMT + 9)
A group of institutions, companies and associations of Malaga formed the Andalusian Network for Sustainable Aquaculture in a bid to boost aquaculture initiatives.
This public-private initiative is impelled through the Aquanostrum project, promoted by the European Union (EU) and the Area of Sustainability and Unity of European Resources of the Provincial Delegation, and counts on a budget of EUR 344,500 originating from European funds.
The new network is expected to facilitate the realisation of “the correct pursuit and operation of the project,” and to back the development of a fish farming sector that is "strong and respectful to the environment.”
According to Miguel Esteban Martin, the person in charge of the Sustainability Area of the Delegation, the new network must also serve to respond to the demand of fish consumption in a context of depleting seafood resources.
Malaga “has extraordinary potential” to develop this project, he stressed.
Whereas only 6 per cent of the fish that was consumed in Malaga came from fish farms in 1970, at present the number tops 45 per cent.
According to Martin, sustainable aquaculture is “a new opportunity and a new source of employment.” It facilitates the progress of the sector, the production of income and the generation of wealth.
In any case, Malaga is “in deficit” in the production of piscicultural resources, since 14,000 tonnes were captured in 2009 in the five fishing ports of the province, against 40,000 tonnes commercialised in the wholesale market of Mercamalaga, he pointed out.
The members of the network hope that “it serves as the germ and the embryo of a future national association of sustainable aquaculture, since no such one exists in Spain,” Martin added.
The network is constituted by the Delegation, the University of Malaga (UMA), the community of the Axarquia and Western Costa del Sol, the provincial delegations of Agriculture and Fisheries, Environment and Health and associations of consumers, and small and mid-sized companies.
By Analia Murias