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Bright Future for Malta's Fish Farmers

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
9 April 2009, at 1:00am

MALTA - Malta, which farms 84 per cent of all the fish it produces, could raise production as the EU yesterday unveiled a strategy to boost the aquaculture industry.

EU Fisheries Commissioner Joe Borg, who launched the strategy in Brussels, said the Commission wanted to give political impetus and leadership to the industry in order to exploit its potential by encouraging more research and development, reports the TimesOfMalta.

Although small, Malta already has a thriving aquaculture industry. According to EU figures, last year the biggest chunk of the 7,165 tonnes of farmed fish produced was blue fin tuna, worth millions of euros and mostly exported to Japan.

Dr Borg said the EU's initiative centred on strategic objectives to which a number of actions were linked and which public authorities could take to unleash the potential of the sector.

According to the TimesOfMalta, these included making the EU aquaculture more competitive by ensuring the sector had access to the space and water it required for its production; ensuring sustainable growth by encouraging green production methods and ensuring high animal health and welfare standards, among others.

Other steps included providing healthy and safe food to consumers while publicising the health benefits of aquaculture products. The goals were geared to improve the sector's image by ensuring a level playing field, cutting red tape, encouraging the dissemination of factual information to the public and involving stakeholders in policy-making and adequately monitoring the sector.

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