EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki. (Photo Credit: European Commission)
Commissioner Damanaki backs EU's aquaculture
Thursday, May 08, 2014, 23:30 (GMT + 9)
European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki highlighted the benefits of eating, fresh, locally produced fish, that is to say, fish farmed in the EU.
This was the message the EU Commissioner expressed at the Seafood Expo Global 2014 and she explained that by 'fish farmed' she was referring to both finfish and shellfish.
“[…] The growing demand, especially for Omega 3 rich fish, cannot be met by simply fishing more out of the sea. There are simply not enough fish out there and our fish stocks are still reeling from years of overfishing,” the Commissioner pointed out.
And Damanaki remarked that sustainably farmed fish can alleviate the pressure of the growing demand while ensuring that the waters stay clean, the ecosystems are rich and healthy and that consumer protection and social rules are respected.
The official is convinced that future generations have the right to enjoy seas, rivers and lakes and that young people should be also given credible expectations to find jobs in thriving companies selling tasty products.
The Commissioner added that only 10 per cent of EU consumption is also farmed in the EU and that much of the imported seafood travels long distances from remote places around the world to reach consumers’ tables.
“Fish farmed in the EU represents an excellent local, sustainable alternative. Initiatives like the Italian "Chilometro Zero" are also based on this very same logic. We want to spread this message of the quality of our EU products,” Damanaki stressed.
The Commissioner welcomed the presence of two top chefs at the fair – Gianfranco Vissani and Kevin MacGillivray, who she said use farmed fish in their cooking.
Finally, her message concluded by inviting listeners to look out for their project with schools from across Europe to promote aquaculture and encouraged those present to “spread the gospel about their locally farmed European fish.”
Photo Courtesy of FIS Member European Commission - Fisheries and Maritime Affairs