Developing sustainable aquaculture in the south Atlantic

All Atlantic Conference Side Event – 03 June 2021 – “Developing Sustainable Aquaculture in the south Atlantic”

EATiP, with the support of Innovation Norway and BluEcoNet, has been selected to undertake a Joint Action (JA) within the EU Horizon 2020 funded AANChOR(All Atlantic Cooperation for Ocean Research) Coordination and Support Action, considering the establishment and viability of a multi stakeholder platform for aquaculture.  The JA will use Brazil as a case study, but with the clear intention for  application to other south Atlantic nations, including South Africa.  This JA has been selected in part to complement European Union objectives with regard to Belém Statement partners and additional accords with Argentina and Cape Verde.   The JA seeks to scope the potential for self-sustaining Atlantic aquaculture multi stakeholder platform(s) in the development of national or regional Strategic Research & Innovation agenda for sustainable industry development.

By way of introducing and launching the Joint Action, EATiP is collaborating in a side event at the forthcoming All Atlantic Conference with two other Horizon 2020 aquaculture projects focusing on Atlantic aquaculture: ASTRAL and AquaVitae.

EATiP, collaborating with ASTRAL & AquaVitae to address sustainable aquaculture in the south Atlantic

ASTRAL focuses on integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) farming, aiming to define, support, and promote this type of sustainable aquaculture production across the Atlantic area.

AquaVitae aims to increase aquaculture production in and around the Atlantic Ocean by developing new species, processes and products, focusing on low trophic species.

During this side event we will be considering what are the challenges and opportunities in trans-Atlantic research collaboration and the development of a sustainable Atlantic aquaculture industry.  AquaVitae and Astral will share experiences and best practices based on their research toward more sustainable aquaculture activities in the Belém Statement areas. Both projects will offer examples and opportunities of innovation, stakeholder participation, social awareness, and capacity building.
The event aims to bring together representatives from research institutions, industry as well as policymakers to respond to the challenges of the Mission Starfish 2030, EU Blue growth strategy and UN’s SDGs and to complement the other themes under consideration at the All Atlantic Conference.

To register for the side event, please click on this link.

Practical Details:

  • 03 June 2021
  • 13:30 – 15:30 CET
  • Registration Required – see link above.

“Knowledge & Innovation key”: Strategic Guidelines for EU Aquaculture – The next decade.

EATiP welcomes the publication by the European Commission (DG MARE) of a communication on the Strategic Guidelines for a more sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture for the period 2021 to 2030.

Of particular importance to us is the clear commitment given to the objective of increasing knowledge and innovation, one of four cross cutting objectives that cover 13 areas of work identified within the Communication.

This much anticipated document takes into account the future of the aquaculture sector referenced in the context of important policy developments such as the European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy – and also takes into account the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Of the four cross cutting objectives identified, the remaining three consider; building resilience and competitiveness, participating in the green transition and ensuring social acceptance and consumer information.

The Farm to Fork Strategy & EU Green Deal highlight the strategic potential for farmed seafood.

As the guidelines themselves note, “knowledge and innovation (including the use of digital technology) are key to achieve the other objectives [set out in the Communication] and they are especially important for building the resilience and competitiveness of aquaculture and ensuring its green transition”.

Horizon Europe, the forthcoming EU framework programme for research and innovation is set to play an important part in the realisation of these objectives. Sustainable aquaculture is identified as an important priority within Horizon Europe where it is hoped that aquaculture research and innovation will ensure a faster response to the current and future challenges and opportunities of the sector whilst avoiding a duplication of efforts and creating synergies across other research areas.

The multi stakeholder and collaborative approach is central to the function of EATiP and the development of our Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda.  As the new strategic guidelines note, further efforts are suggested in several areas that are highly complementary to our aims and current working methodology.  Specifically those listed in the Communication cover:

  • Creating a framework for cooperation that brings together public authorities, industry, researchers, and educators, both at national and regional/local levels. This framework should include the development of innovation clusters for sustainable aquaculture.
  • Fostering the development and matching of research and innovation strengths across Member States and regions. This should include smart-specialisation strategies aimed at building full value chains across the EU.
  • Fostering effective dissemination of research and innovation results to industry end-users and the general public, as well as their exploitation, including by means of the close monitoring of the establishment and implementation of solid dissemination and exploitation plans of EU funded projects.
  • Promoting complementarity and synergies between research projects.
  • Facilitating access to EU funds for research and innovation in the aquaculture sector, by providing a clear overview of the available EU funding.

EATiP currently operates with 16 national / regional innovation clusters across 11 nations. Will the Guidelines encourage more clusters to form?

EATiP will continue to work on all these fronts and the emphasis on the development of innovation clusters is something that EATiP particularly welcome – noting the vital role that the current 16 national & regional Mirror Platforms currently play within our organisation.   Welcome too is the commitment given to the setting up on an EU Aquaculture Assistance Mechanism, not only in terms of assisting in the sharing of best practice but also in the development on an online platform hosting information on EU funding and EU funded projects.

Two further significant themes also emerge from the guidelines with regard to innovation.

It is encouraging that emphasis is placed on promoting investment in innovative solutions. As the Communication goes on to note, “investors often enter unfamiliar territory when investing in innovation” and this can be particularly true for aquaculture. As such we welcome commitment that  the EU’s BlueInvest initiative will continue to bring together investors and entrepreneurs in the aquaculture sector and that a financial instrument will be set up with EMFAF and InvestEU contributions which will be available to support investment in sustainable aquaculture activities and technologies. This will be in addition to that support afforded by individual EU Member States.

Finally, the key area of skills, education and training are acknowledged, and we look forward to further development of the themes referenced in the Communicaiton relating to the “promotion of specialised curricula and knowledge on aquaculture… …as well as life-long training for farmers on innovative approaches for the aquaculture sector”.

EATiP looks forward to building on our strong relations with the European Commission and other linked stakeholders in the delivery of the ambitions contained within the newly published Commuication and will ensure that technology, knowledge and innovation remain at the forefront of a sustainable European aquaculture sector. The role that EATiP and our Mirror Platforms have in the development of European aquaculture is something that we have already been discussing with the European Commission and with the publication of these guidelines and the imminent publication of both the Horizon Europe work programmes and EMFAF funding mechanism these proposals will be progressed further.

An exciting decade of innovation in European aquaculture is underway!

Mediterranean and Black Sea regional marine data for aquaculture workshop

The workshop was organized by EATiP in conjunction with Copernicus Marine, EMODnet and the European Commission (DG MARE and DG DEFIS), as a follow-up of the successful event addressing environmental monitoring for aquaculture in the North Atlantic (see the report on MARINE DATA TO SUPPORT AQUACULTURE IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC). About 80 aquaculture company stakeholders, experienced data users and providers, researchers and coastal managers from across the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions gathered to explore opportunities for open source marine environmental data to support and innovate the aquaculture sector.

Both the Marine Food sector related Copernicus Marine Service and the EMODnet portfolios provide valuable marine data, services and tools that might be combined with coastal models, data networks and measurements by aquaculture farms in order to contribute to a better management and operation plans.

The objectives of the workshop and a summary of the marine data from the aquaculture industry in a set of different countries in the region are attached. Information in the latter was assembled by EATiP, its regional Mirror Platforms and by key national stakeholders, based on information from national and regional authorities that are responsible for aquaculture management and spatial planning. Both documents supported the attendants of the Mediterranean and Black Seas meeting in understanding the current of play and the expectations towards a future collaborative network for better use of current data.

Thank you to all who joined the workshop!

The report will be published soon.

We’re growing again!

EATiP is delighted to announce that EBCD – the European Bureau for Conservation Development has joined our Platform as a member organisation.  EBCD is an international environmental NGO that promotes the sustainable use and conservation of marine resources.

Established in Brussels in 1989, EBCD fosters dialogue and cooperation on ocean governance among all stakeholders, and works together with EU and UN institutions to advance progress on sustainable development.

EBCD has a long history in engaging on sustainable fisheries & aquaculture at European and global level, tracking and informing policy developments through expert-led scientific advice and full stakeholder participation. Embracing its mission of promoting the sustainable use of natural renewable resources, EBCD was involved at the establishment of EATIP in 2007  – bringing in IUCN as an advisory body –  and it has carried out several projects jointly with  IUCN on aquaculture.  

On becoming part of our Platform, EBCD is looking forward to contributing to the sustainable development of the aquaculture sector and in particular to supporting the achievement of SDG14 Life Below Water and SDG 2 Zero Hunger.

One of the key strengths of the European Technology Platforms is their multi-stakeholder approach, joining industry members with researchers, academics and NGO organisations.  Taking a fact and science based policy approach to sustainable development is more important than ever – and such joint working demonstrates the trust and credibility that is to be found in the work of the ETPs, and the importance attached to them by the European Commission and other key stakeholders.

EBCD also provides the Secretariat to the European Parliament Intergroup on “Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development” with a specific Working Group on Fisheries and Aquaculture as well the Secretariat to the Market Advisory Council of DG MARE and the Secretariat  to the IUCN Fisheries Expert Group.

EATiP and other food sector Technology Platforms call for a more ambitious budget for Horizon Europe

As part of providing the right framework for an economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic European Heads of State and Governments agreed earlier this week on the EU budget for 2021-2027. Whilst the Council decision provides a clear direction for a rapid decision later this autumn, the reduction in funds allocated to the next Research Program “Horizon Europe” is of concern. Investment in Research and Innovation (R&I) is fundamental to improve food security and the sustainability of EU food systems and ensure development in line with the Green Deal and Farm2Form strategy objectives.

Horizon Europe – the EU Research & Innovation Programme 2021 – 2027

Together with the European Technology Platforms FABRE, Plants for the Future, TP Organics, the National Food Technology Platforms and the Animal Task Force, EATiP addresses an urgent message to the European Council, European Parliament and European Commission on the importance of R&I to support robust and resilient food, agricultural and aquaculture systems.

Read the common statement below:

Marine data to support aquaculture in the Mediterranean and Black Seas

Co-organised by EATiP, EMODnet, Copernicus Marine (CMEMS) and DG MARE/DG DEFIS

When? March 24-25 (tentative) (3 hour meeting each day 10:00-13:00 CET)

Where? Online: Invitation-only

Who will attend? Aquaculture industry and authorities (focus Mediterranean/Black Sea), EMODnet and CMEMS representatives, European Commission policy, some invited projects e.g. Blue-Cloud, EuroSea, FORCOAST, other…

What is the workshop about? The main goal of the workshop is to find ways to make better use of existing, free marine data and services offered by Copernicus Marine Service and EMODnet, in combination with farm data and data from coastal authorities. To achieve a common understanding and provide ideas for best practice, the workshop brings together industry practitioners in the Aquaculture sector, marine environmental data producers, coastal authorities and key open source marine data managers (EMODnet and CMEMS). The meeting is designed for maximum interaction between participants, with (online) breakout discussions led by a professional facilitator.

The October event on the North-Atlantic gathered more than 60 expert and end users of data (37% aquaculture industry, 37% policy/coastal managers, 24% researchers/modelers). Its final report is available at MARINE DATA TO SUPPORT AQUACULTURE IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC. The EC has requested a similar report for the Mediterranean / Black Sea.

We now need to identify potential participants whom we can invite to the event, and to clarify the type of data that is already monitored by aquaculture stakeholders and governing authorities. Are you interested to join or to contribute?  Please let us know by the end of January. A formal invitation will then be sent out.

 

EATiP feedback to draft Ocean Mission

The European Starfish Mission on “Healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters” aims to know, restore and protect our oceans and waters by 2030. As a multi-actor platform on a European scale, EATiP strongly believes that the aquaculture sector can play a decisive role in achieving the many ambitious goals. Even more, the success of the Mission depends on the active engagement and commitment of stakeholders along the aquaculture value chain, making them accomplices to the solution.

READ the recommendations from EATiP HERE

GET INVOLVED: You can use (part) of the input to provide your feedback to the European Commission HERE

MORE INFORMATION on Missions HERE

EATiP and other food sector Technology Platforms call for a more ambitious budget for Horizon Europe

In trying to provide the right framework for an economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic European Heads of State and Government agreed earlier this week on the Union’s budget for 2021-2027. Whilst the Council decision provides a clear direction for a rapid decision later this fall, the reduced fund allocated to the Research Program Horizon Europe are a concern. Investment in Research and Innovation (R&I) are fundamental to improve food security and the sustainability of EU food systems and ensure its transition in line with the Green Deal objectives.

Together with the European Technology Platforms FABRE, Plants for the Future, TP Organics, the National Food Technology Platforms and the Animal Task Force, EATiP addresses an urgent message to the European Council, European Parliament and European Commission on the importance of R&I to support robust and resilient food, agricultural and aquaculture systems.

Read the common statement HERE.

 

EATiP held its 12th General Assembly

For the first time in the history of EATiP, the GA was held as a virtual event. It allowed nevertheless to have some good discussions, and to inform the membership about the platform’s major past and future actions in the new R&I setting of the European Green Deal and Horizon Europe. Representatives from collaborating networks EIT Food, Bio-based Industries Consoritum and BlueInvest explained how a stronger interaction is envisaged. Together, we can raise a stronger awareness for importance of innovation in European aquaculture.

Representatives from the European Commission, DG RTD and DG MARE, presented the policies and strategies impacting aquaculture R&I at a European level. Especially the Farm to Fork strategy and the economic recovery plan call for an integrated, food system approach reaching out for a resilient aquaculture sector with a green ambition. They expressed the importance of EATiP as a representative of the European sector during the upcoming processes in Horizon Europe.

The election of the Board of Directors resulted in the welcoming of Alex Obach (FEFAC), Marisol Izquierdo (ULPGC, EcoAqua), Raphaëla le Gouvello (IUCN), Patrick Sorgeloos (UGent, chair of EATiP INCO working group) and Yolanda Molares (ACUIPLUS, chair of EATiP MiP working group) as new Board members.

The mandate of Francois Simard (IUCN), Iciar Martinez (Universidad del Pais Vasco) and Ole Christensen (FEFAC) ended, and they were thanked for their important contributions during the past years.

EATiP provided its feedback as a reply to the Food 2030 consultation

We have now received the report – see attached. For aquaculture, pathway 3 is key: Food from the Oceans and Freshwater Resources. Innovation in science, engineering, economics and behavioural studies were identified as critical for aquaculture to achieve a higher self-sufficiency rate in Europe. Open science and innovation, multi-actor approach, interdisiciplinarity and interoperability were highlighted as important factors of future actions. This is very much in line with the EATiP recommendations and overall approach to research and innovation in aquaculture.

 

Summarised, the recommended focus areas for each of the prioritized R&I actions are:

  1. Boosting innovation: climate adaptation; novel and sustainable feeds
  2. Improve the quantity and quality of aquatic food: traceability and certification systems; biomass valorization; development of nutrient standards; tailor-made aquatic products
  3. Strengthening R&I capacity: collaborative partnership models; infrastructure; citizen science

 

Read the full report here: