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Italian MEP Guido Milana drafted the resolution that was recently passed by the European Parliament. (Photo: European Parliament)

MEPs demands measures to strengthen aquaculture

EUROPEAN UNION
Friday, June 18, 2010, 03:20 (GMT + 9)

The plenary session of the European Parliament (EP) called for the implementation of measures to strengthen European aquaculture and reinforce its role as an economic activity and an alternative to wild species capture.

The parliament members passed a resolution drafted by the Italian MEP Guido Milana -- with 420 votes in favour, 15 against and 7 abstentions -- that proposes ways to boost fish-farming in the European Union (EU) with “clearer rules.”

"Future legislation should lay down standard certification criteria for products and basic parameters on environmental impact, use of water resources, feeding of farmed fish, molluscs and crustaceans, product traceability and labelling, fish health and welfare standards. Implementation and checks would be the responsibility of Member States, taking into account the differences among geographic zones and farming methods,” the EP indicated in an official statement.

The Milana report proposes the European Executive “consolidate” the legislation in this sector, in a bid to facilitate its planning and give it stability.

The EP also demands the establishment of:

  • Rigorous quality and traceability criteria;
  • Clear labelling principles for high-quality and organic aquaculture products;
  • An eco-labelling programme for fishery and aquaculture products that follows the current general EU guidelines in the area.

It argues that the sector's success will largely depend on a more business-friendly environment, and urges Member States to reduce red tape for start-ups.

The report ‘Strategy for the Sustainable Development of European Aquaculture’ also stresses that European aquaculture should give priority to fish species which do not need other fish as part of their feed or which require smaller amounts of fishmeal and oil.

In terms of the aquaculture sector, Milana warned that its importance "should not be underestimated.”

"Since two thirds of the demand are covered by products imported from third party countries, it is fundamental to evaluate the potential of the sector, as much in terms of jobs as of environmental sustainability, elevating the standards of quality and contributing to reducing pressure on fishing-grounds," it pointed out.

Finally, the EP noted that the volume of the annual billing of European aquaculture surpasses EUR 3.5 billion.

By Analia Murias
[email protected]
www.fis.com

 

 


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