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IFA Welcomes EU Decision to Enhance Aquaculture

EU - The European Commision's recent decision to boost aquaculture throughout the EU countries has been well received by the Irish Farmers' Association.

Welcoming the release by Commissioner Joe Borg today (Wednesday) of the long-awaited EU Commissions strategy on sustainable fish and shellfish farming, IFA Aquaculture section Executive Secretary, Richie Flynn said, This response by the Commission to the industrys call for a strategic and supportive policy for farming the continent's sea and freshwater resource is a positive signal for investment and development to encourage jobs, exports and increased consumption of locally produced fish in Europe.

IFA Aquaculture was to the forefront in persuading the Commission to produce an update to its 2002 "Communication on Aquaculture". Holding the chairmanship of the EU's aquaculture advisory group for the past 7 years, the IFA has campaigned for a clear policy statement on fish and shellfish farming from the centre of European politics throughout that period.

Mr Flynn said the industry would be studying Mr Borgs policy statement in detail and discussing its implications with Government, European colleagues and the Commission itself over the coming weeks. With the EU importing 60% of its seafood needs at present and national governments looking to increase activity in the indigenous, natural-resource based manufacturing sector, fish and shellfish farming is in the perfect position to provide jobs, healthy and locally produced food and a sustainable anchor in the rural economy for service and supplier businesses to tap into.

Irish aquaculture currently provides 2,000 jobs and 120 million per annum in production, of which over 70% is export-driven.

the Fish Site Editor

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