Aquaculture vital for plugging the gap in the EU’s seafood needs
The most telling point of the aquaculture debate is in this quote: “With current labour productivity, every 1% of our seafood consumption produced by EU aquaculture will help create 3-4000 full-time jobs.” With austerity measures and high unemployment hitting several EU member states, doesn’t a move into sustainable aquaculture (i.e. companies not using fishmeal as stock feed) and shift away from overfishing large species make sense?
Aquaculture has a vital role to play in helping the EU to meet its demand for seafood, but expansion of the industry in Europe is hampered by bureaucratic inefficiency.
For example, it can take seven years to get a licence for a new aquaculture farm in an EU country, compared with just six months in Norway, says Viktoria Varga Lences, DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission.
Meanwhile, she added, obtaining a licence for a new agriculture farm in the EU takes 4-6 months and even for an offshore wind farm it only takes 18 months. The waiting time to obtain a licence for a new fish or shellfish farm should be no more than one month, she argued.
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