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Ireland Welcomes Aquaculture Development

IRELAND - Positive views were expressed by the Commission at the EU Fisheries Council in Brussels yesterday (30 Nov) in relation to the future development of aquaculture in the EU.

The Commission said that in the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy it intends to put a specific focus on the development of European Aquaculture. The Commission said that it is planning to introduce a specific financial funding mechanism for the development of aquaculture post 2012. The Commission also clarified that it was anxious to develop a new consultative structure for the aquaculture industry in Europe along the lines of a Regional Advisory Council which currently is in place for the fishing industry.

Minister Connick said "I am convinced that there is huge potential for the development of many different kinds of aquaculture in Ireland and around Europe. I see this sector becoming an increasing source of sustainable employment and economic activity right around our coastline. We are currently working hard to resolve the issues in relation to compliance of aquaculture activities in Natura 2000 areas with EU environmental directives.

"I see great potential for the development of the sector as these issues are progressively resolved. The potential for aquaculture in Ireland was examined and strongly supported in the Food Harvest 2020 report launched in July. The report recognised the potential to capitalise on strong demand for seafood products and estimates a 78% increase in aquaculture volume production in the period to 2020. This national strategy will now be supported by the initiatives flagged today by the Commission."

The Minister said markets are strong for oysters, salmon, and other aquaculture products and this creates opportunities for expansion, innovation and diversification in this industry which will form an increasing part of the food supply chain and coastal employment in the future.

the Fish Site Editor

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