News Digest n.5 / 2021
The European Commission has recently published “The EU Blue Economy Report” 2021 edition. The report provides an overview on the performance of established and emerging sectors, such as blue biotechnology and blue bioeconomy, from 2013 to 2018. These emerging sectors can play a crucial role as suppliers of plant-based alternatives and they are still at an initial phase. Ocean energy can also give contribute to achieving carbon-neutrality by 2050. For more information on the blue bioeconomy, EUMOFA has published its bi-annual report that you may find here.
The European Commission has adopted new strategic guidelines for sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture, which outline a common vision shared by the Commission, Member States and stakeholders on how to further develop the sector and contribute to the European Green Deal. The guidelines aim to build resilience and competitiveness in the aquaculture sector, participate in the green transition, ensure social acceptance and foster knowledge and innovation. The Commission proposes to develop detailed guidelines on good practices and to establish a dedicated Aquaculture Assistance Mechanism to support both the development and implementation of these guidelines.
An investment of €75 million to produce up to 10.000 tonnes of sole in recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS) is being made in the Asturian port of Gijón. The first phase will involve the establishment of six growing modules and a reproduction unit, which will guarantee a total of 2.600 tonnes of sole per year, with the goal of increasing the production and meeting the growing demand for protein worldwide in the coming years. For more information on the RAS technology, see the recently released EUMOFA study available here.
Norwegian seafood export earnings continue to rise despite pandemic pressures Seafood record earnings in Norway Norway has posted record earnings in March and April 2021 despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its seafood sector sold EUR 861.4 million worth of fisheries and aquaculture products, with an increase of 4% (EUR 33.9 million) compared with April 2020. This is due to record-high volumes of salmon and brown crab, due to increasing demand from France and Italy. In addition, according to the Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC), a negative currency effect for all seafood exports in April had quite an impact on the price increase for fresh whole salmon up to 25% converted into euros.
The results from the project “SEAFOOD TOMORROW” are crucial for strengthening seafood production and the processing industry in Europe. Funded by Horizon 2020, the project has developed several solutions to tackle challenges such as sustainability, quality, transparency and availability of products. The solutions proposed span new technologies, fast screening tools to detect contaminants in seafood and a web-based training course for managers to address education gaps in the industry.
According to a survey conducted by the WWF, both poaching and the illegal market for caviar and wild sturgeon are among the most serious threats to sturgeon survival in the Lower Danube basin. Both Romania and Bulgaria require that fishers report sturgeon bycatch and release it immediately in the river basin. For an updated and comprehensive overview of the caviar market, see also EUMOFA’s recently released study here.
The European Commission has launched a public consultation to elicit feedback from citizens and public and private stakeholders on sustainable fisheries partnership agreements (SFPAs). The main goal of the consultation is to assess the governance framework that the SFPAs create, the impacts that they have in the EU and in partner countries and also the extent to which the expected objectives are achieved. Moreover, the consultation will also take into account recommendations for improving the agreements in the future, with a view to making their impact stronger and more relevant for the EU and partner countries. The feedback period for the consultation will close on 23 June 2021.
The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) has launched “GFCM-Lex”: an online regional repository of fisheries and aquaculture legislation in the Mediterranean. The repository will harmonise national legislation at a regional level. The goal of the GFCM is to allow for a comparative analysis of national legal instruments and facilitate the sharing of best practices between countries, especially in the Mediterranean region. At the moment, the GFCM is piloting the project in Albania, Tunisia and Turkey and in the next phase it will involve additional countries in order to reach full coverage by 2022. The GFCM invites to enrich the content of GFCM-Lex with new legislation or updates to country profiles by filling out the forms available here.