A Strategic Framework for Scottish Aquaculture
Appendix 7: A strategy for the sustainable development of European aquaculture (Extract)
A vision for the future
Aquaculture in the EU developed well in the last two decades and this was partly allowed by the many Community initiatives that have been taken to support this sector. The Union has a vast legal armoury on aquaculture, and activities to enhance the legal framework are progressing. However, there is still room for further improvement, and the recent slowdown of growth must be addressed.
While the overall framework shows a potential for further development, aquaculture in the Union has still to cope with some problems, in particular in the context of health protection requirements, environmental impact and market instability.
In the next ten years aquaculture must reach the status of a stable industry which guarantees long term secure employment and development in rural and coastal areas, providing alternatives to the fishing industry, both in terms of products and employment.
To secure employment and well-being, European aquaculture must be an economically viable and self-sufficient industry. The Market has to be the driving force of aquaculture production: production and demand are finely balanced and any increase in production in excess of the likely evolution in demand should not be encouraged. The range of products must be enlarged, better marketing strategies have to be implemented. Private investors are, and have to remain, the leading force to put progress in practice, while a key role of the public powers will be to guarantee that the economic viability be parallel to the respect of the environment and the good quality of the products.
The fundamental issue is therefore the maintenance of competitiveness, productivity and durability of the aquaculture sector. Further developments of the industry must take an approach where farming technologies, socio-economics, natural resources use and governance are all integrated so that sustainability can be achieved.