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EUROPE - FEAP calls for feed transparency to help address poorly performing Mediterranean aquaculture

The Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP) has called for a comprehensive review of the procedures used for communicating feed composition to producers, and assessment of performanc

June 12, 2014

The Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP) has called for a comprehensive review of the procedures used for communicating feed composition to producers, and assessment of performance.

The Mediterranean aquaculture sector has seen little technical progress in the last 12-15 years compared with other livestock and aquaculture sectors, a situation that must be addressed urgently, FEAP concluded during its 46th Annual General Meeting in Rovinj, Croatia, which took place May 23-24. 

The exact reasons for the lack of performance are unknown, given the different species, inputs and rearing conditions. Preliminary indications are:

lack of research into the nutritional requirements of the principal fish species raised and specifically the juvenile and adult phases; continuous rapid changes in the feed ingredients used for all life stages by feed manufacturers, and lack of consultation about this with aquaculture producers.

Non feed-related causes cited were: the quality of juveniles, including including broodstock selection and conditioning, affecting growth performance, susceptibility to disease and infection and survival and the lack of fallowing procedures and appropriate sites, which mean that new stock are not put into optimal the environment for farming. That there were likely other causes that needed to be identified and investigated was acknowledged.

Recognizing the complexity of the problems, FEAP Called for a comprehensive review of the procedures used for communicating feed composition to producers, and assessment of performance.

FEAP recommends that feed manufacturers and feed associations inform fish farmers on a continuous and long term basis about the ingredients used in their aquafeed formulations, specifically:

Quality

Actual percentage of individual ingredients

Formulation criteria for individual species.

FEAP said these targets were in line with the goals on Sustainable Feed Production of the eAtiP Vision and Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda

Farmers and representative associations will respect the confidentiality of individual companies, FEAP said.

FEAP\'s Mediterranean Aquaculture Commission will prepare proposals for projects and log-term programs to address identification of the causes and potential solutions for the improvement of production performance.

These issues will be addressed further and discussed at a special meeting \"The performance of the seabass and seabream sector\", October 16, 2014 within Aquaculture Europe 2014 in San Sebastien, Spain that will be organized by EATiP and the European Aquaculture Society.

Other resolutions agreed by the 40 representatives of its national member associations concerned access to sufficient water quantities for the freshwater aquaculture sector in Europe so that it can maintain and grow its stock fish throughout the year, and labelling standards for sturgeon caviar.

Water availability

It appears that certain local authorities/environmental regulators are using the Water Framework Directive (WFD) as a justification to tighten the requirements of permitted water quantities for aquaculture operators, without any supporting impact assessment. Such measures are being imposed despite the sustainability of freshwater farming procedures, the best management practices applied and water-efficient technologies available. It is also well recognized that extensive freshwater farms provide valuable environmental services that need to be maintained.

FEAP believes that the Water Framework Directive is often used by local authorities as a weapon against the development, and even the subsistence, of fresh water aquaculture, instead of implementing the Directive in a fair way, while they are perfectly aware of the sustainability of this sector and its need for adequate water quantities.

Therefore, the FEAP General Assembly asks for the active participation of DG Environment, as a prime public authority with interest in this matter, to clarify this situation and provide a position on the fair interpretation of the Directive, its assessment and implementation in respect of freshwater aquaculture.

Caviar labelling

The second Resolution concerns the Sturgeon producers, the new working group within FEAP\'s Freshwater commission and is related to the absence of respect of labelling standards for sturgeon caviar.

The FEAP calls for the European Commission to make a clear ruling for the use of the term \"caviar\" for fish eggs from sturgeon and define the correct use of the common names Beluga, Oscietre and Sevruga as follows:

a.Beluga - only to be used to describe eggs of the species Huso huso

b.Oscietre - only to be used to describe eggs of the species Acipenser gue/denstadtii and Acipenser persicus.

cSevruga - only for eggs from the species Acipenser stellatus.

For sturgeon species that do not have the common names specified above, the name used may be supplemented with the CITES identification code or the scientific name of the species.

Information in the top label (on the lid or cover) of the primary caviar container must not be in contradiction with information contained in the CITES label on the bottom of the container.

For hybrids, the common name shall be supplemented with the word \"hybrid\".

For caviar obtained from ovulated eggs the product shall be \"Caviar from ovulated eggs.\"

FIAP believes implementation will greatly help to protect the true identity nd image of real caviar and protect the consumer from misleading and false labelling currently found on real and substitue caviar products.

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