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European Aquaculture Begins to Stagnate

EU - Over-regulation and zealous planning authorities is crippling Europe's once lucrative aquaculture industry.

This was the stark warning given to an international conference today by Scottish Conservative Euro MP Struan Stevenson, reports Speaking at the conference 'A Coherent Approach to Sustainable Development', sponsored by the Spanish Government and supported by the French Presidency, in Brussels.

According to FishUpdate, Struan Stevenson said: "Europe used to lead the world in the production of farmed fish and Scotland was at the forefront of the industry, but in recent years we've taken our eye off the ball. We have allowed our non-EU competitors to assume dominance in this rapidly developing sector and we have seen our indigenous industry haemorrhage jobs to countries outside the EU. At a time of soaring food prices and rising consumer demand, we import almost 50 per cent of our seafood needs when we are perfectly capable of producing this food ourselves."

Mr Stevenson went on to say that marine aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world, growing at 9 per cent per annum everywhere except in the EU, where growth is stagnating.

In Europe we have the perfect environment for fish farming. We have an almost limitless coastline with ideal bays, fjords and sea conditions. We lead the world in the science and technology necessary for a thriving aquaculture sector. And yet we are in danger of starving in a land of plenty.