Further to today’s special General Meeting, EATiP is delighted to have been officially welcomed as a member of the AAC – the European Aquaculture Advisory Council. Commenting on the decision, the EATiP President, Gustavo Larrazábal, drew attention to the challenges and opportunities facing European aquaculture, noting: “the cutting edge research and innovation activities for which European aquaculture is justifiably highly regarded will be key in achieving the ambitions for European aquaculture production and realising the targets and objectives that the industry, civil society and regulators aspire to. EATiP stand ready to lend our support to the AAC in their deliberations and to assist wherever possible through our experience, expertise and membership network, highlighting the role that technology, research and innovation may have to play and bringing strategic research and innovation priorities to the fore in considering further development for a sustainable European aquaculture sector.”
EATiP has been supportive of the establishment of the AAC from the first recommendations for such a Council to be established – as part of the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy in 2013. For some time, EATiP has been operating as an observer at AAC and further to some internal organisational readjustments in 2021, EATiP is now able to commit sufficient staff time and resources to be able to operate as a full and active member of the AAC.
A key factor in the EATiP Boad agreeing this decision was set in the context of the adoption of the Com(2021) 236 – Communication for Strategic guidelines for a more sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture for the period 2021- 2030 and Com(2021) 240 Communication on a new approach to a sustainable blue economy in the EU transforming the EU’s Blue Economy for a Sustainable Future. Within Annex 1 of the Com(2021) 236 (strategic guidelines) a number of points are referenced to the AAC where we feel EATiP will be in a position to assist and collaborate with the AAC and with the European Commission and we look forward to working proactively and productively on this.
Areas of specific interest for EATiP with regard to the AAC and the EU Strategic Guidelines inlcude:
Section 2.4 – Increasing Knowledge and Innovation
- Encourage aquaculture producers and other stakeholders to work together with research and innovation institutes and public authorities to find solutions to the challenges of the sustainable development of EU Aquaculture
- Disseminate information on research and innovation projects and their results among members
- Promote the uptake by the EU aquaculture industry of existing innovation
- Promote in the aquaculture sector the regular training of aquaculture professionals in particular on how to incorporate innovation practices.
Section 2.3 – Ensuring social acceptance and information to the Consumer
- Support and ensure the broad dissemination by members of the coordinated EU-wide campaign on EU aquaculture.
- Promote the use of digitalisation tools and artificial intelligence for the traceability and transparency of aquaculture products.
Section 2.2 – Participating in the Green Transition
- Ensure that EU aquaculture producers are informed about relevant research and innovation to improve the environmental performance of aquaculture operations.
- Ensure that EU aquaculture producers are informed about relevant research and innovation on animal welfare.
- Promote the monitoring and reporting by the aquaculture industry of environmental indicators. Section 2.1 – Building Resilience and Competitiveness
- Ensure that EU aquaculture producers are informed about relevant research and innovation on animal-health and public-health matters.
- Encourage the use by the aquaculture sector of digital tools for increased traceability and transparency.
We identify many areas where EATiP will be able to support and assist these ambitions – not only through dissemination and communication with out membership and Mirror Platform Network, but also through inclusion of AAC activities and membership in our online thematic forum events and “On the Horizon” project dissemination service.
The mutual assistance that may be provided between two multi stakeholder organisations such as the AAC and EATiP towards the promotion of a sustainable European aquaculture is clear – and we look forward to a long and fruitful working relationship together!