The assembly was opened by Ms Lara Barazi-Geroulanou, FEAP President, and Mr Riccardo Rigillo, General Director for Fisheries and Aquaculture of Italy’s Ministry for Agriculture. Both highlighted the important role of aquaculture in the Green Deal, its relevance for food security in Europe and towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.
The representatives of FEAP’s member associations discussed and decided upon the numerous issues related to aquaculture that are currently been dealt with by the European Commission like the implementation of the Strategic guidelines for a more sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture for the period 2021 to 2030, the EMFAF National Operational Programmes, and about the Sustainable Food Systems initiative.
The activity of the federation within the European Parliament was reviewed, specifically the work with several of its committees and about ongoing INI reports like the one "Towards a sustainable blue economy in the EU" and "Striving for a sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture". Finally, contributions to the FAO Shanghai Declaration and plans for its 2022 International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture were presented.
An internal commission was created in the federation to work on the issues related to the farming of Bluefin tuna. This new working group will focus on sustainability issues, innovation and best practices for the farming of this species. Currently, the FEAP has six other commissions: Environment, Communication, Fish health and welfare, Salmon and large trout, Freshwater species, Mediterranean and Sturgeon.
A position paper of the FEAP was approved on the legal cataloguing of fish farm effluent dry waste as manure. Although the definition of "manure" set in the Animal by-product regulation does not cover solid materials from aquaculture, these materials should not be automatically catalogued as "sludge". The FEAP holds that the solid material of fish farms resulting from the filtering and drying of effluents should be catalogued as "manure" under the Animal by-products regulation.
The next plenary meeting of the FEAP will be its 2022 Annual General Meeting and it will take place in May in Budapest, Hungary.