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EU pledges support for aquaculture

European Union plans to focus more effort on the development and growth of the region\'s aquaculture industry were spelt out by the EU\'s director of bio-economy, John Bell, at the opening of the Aquaculture Europe 2015 event in Rotterdam in The Netherlands on Wednesday, October 21. And his message was loud and clear - aquaculture is set to become a major growth area Europe.

October 21, 2015

Delegates at EA2015

European Union plans to focus more effort on the development and growth of the region\'s aquaculture industry were spelt out by the EU\'s director of bio-economy, John Bell, at the opening of the the European Aquaculture Society\'s Aquaculture Europe 2015 event in Rotterdam in The Netherlands on Wednesday, October 21. And his message was loud and clear - aquaculture is set to become a major growth area Europe.

\"We are sending out a strong signal that aquaculture will be playing a more strategic role in the EU in future, with innovation having a key role to play in our efforts to meet the increasing demand for protein,\" Bell told some 900 delegates, who attended the conference, that included a lively trade show with more than 40 exhibitors.

\"We are keen to help the industry identify opportunities, development and then take them to market as soon as possible,\" explained Bell, who said that the EU had many strengths, \"including some of the brightest minds to help the sector step up to the plate for the future\". He added that the industry, which already played a significant role in the EU\'s economy, also needed to bring people in at the ground floor to help it grow more rapidly and build a sustainable future, adding value wherever possible. Stressing that international co-operation was needed to focus and concentrate efforts on the right areas, Bell also urged companies and regions to set up new partnerships in the race to find and test new ideas for the next generation.

The EU was already working with other regions, including the South Atlantic community and Asia in its search for new ideas, innovative technologies and disease prevention.
After the official opening, and a paper by Chris Ninnes, of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, looking at the importance of sustainability credentials and proper certification on Wednesday, the three-day conference split up in a variety of different workshops, ranging from feed and nutrition, aquaponics, shellfish restoration, organic aquaculture and labelling.
Further plenary sessions on consumer preferences and new approaches to production, as well as workshops on RAS production, disease prevention, emerging finfish species, alternative feed ingredients, advances in hatchery technologies and CEOs in action wee planned for Thursday and Friday.

Conference organiser Mario Stael said he was extremely pleased by the enthusiastic response to the Rotterdam event and the high level of debate it was generating, which he said bode well for Aquaculture Europe 2016, which will be held in Edinburgh, Scotland, on September next year.

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