9. Council Regulation ( EC) No.708/2007 establishes a framework governing aquaculture practices in relation to alien and locally absent species. The main objective is to enable the economic growth of the aquaculture sector, whilst ensuring adequate protection for the aquatic environment from the risks associated with the use of alien and locally absent species.
10. The framework enables us to adopt a precautionary approach to the use of such species, whereby they are subject to appropriate risk assessment protocols before their use in proposed aquaculture developments. This approach is consistent with Government policy in relation to the regulation of non-native species, which recognises that preventing the introduction of potentially invasive species is more cost-effective than trying to apply controls retrospectively.
11. Alien species have been identified as one of the key causes for the loss of biodiversity in the EU and the world at large. They can have significant economic and social impacts, and could undermine the EU's sustainable development objectives. Aquaculture is a fast growing innovative industry, constantly looking for new outlets and markets. In order to fully adapt to market conditions and changes, it is essential that the industry diversifies the species it produces, but that this is balanced with appropriate safeguards for aquatic environments.
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