Priorities for environmentally responsible aquaculture in the EU
In this paper, environmental NGOs propose several priorities to ensure that European aquaculture develops in an environmentally responsible manner. To minimise the environmental impacts of aquaculture the priorities are to ensure sustainable sourcing of feed, to avoid escapes by adopting technical standards, to minimise biodiversity impacts and to reduce the impact of chemicals and medicine use.
To fill the knowledge and data gaps, more research and data collection are needed regarding the effects of aquaculture on wider ecosystems. This should underpin the development of measurable targets and indicators. Also aquaculture governance needs to be improved, to ensure early and effective stakeholder and public participation and the integration of environmental legislation. Innovative production processes such as integrated multi-trophic aquaculture and aquaponics should be supported and encouraged. Public funding needs to be focused and accountable and environmentally responsible trade promoted.
This paper focuses on the environmental aspects of sustainability, as this is within the remit and expertise of environmental NGOs. Sustainable aquaculture should be environmentally acceptable, economically viable, and socially equitable. Agreeing among EU stakeholders on a wider definition of ‘sustainable aquaculture’ is therefor also a priority.
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