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Spanish Minister Highlights Bright Future for Aquaculture


SPAIN - The Spanish Secretary General of Fisheries, Andrs Hermida, has recently highlighted the many possibilities in Spain for the development of aquaculture.

Mr Hermida said: "There are the necessary conditions for this activity to grow in a sustainable manner, balancing the trade for fisheries products and generating employment and development in coastal and inland areas."

He also said that fisheries provide healthy products, obtained under the strictest social, health and environmental criteria.

As an example of this potential, the Secretary General highlighted the remarkable growth experienced in the last decade by marine fish farming, from species such as turbot, bream and bass, which are increasingly present in the diets of the Spaniards.

Mr Hermida, who was speaking at the close of the General Assembly of the Business Association of Marine Aquaculture Producers of Spain (APROMAR), stressed the importance of the Strategic Plan for Spanish Aquaculture 2014-2020.

The plan includes objectives to ensure economic, social and environmental sustainability of aquaculture in the medium term, through increased aquaculture production.

This plan has allocated a total of 211 million euros from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, together with state financing and autonomous regions, to make a total investment of 421 million euros in the sector.

In this context, explained Mr Hermida, the main strategic lines will be addressed that have been identified as priorities for the promotion of the activity. This will involve the development of actions in areas such as simplifying the legal and administrative framework, improving spatial planning, strengthening environmental aspects, or the enhancement of health and animal welfare.

In addition, the sector's competitiveness will be boosted through research and development, supporting the training tools available, promoting aspects related to market and improving communications and image of aquaculture.

Mr Hermida indicated he is already working on the simplification of the legal and administrative framework, sectoral planning and site selection.

Among the work in progress, he highlighted the development of an Aquaculture Act, which will provide an updated regulatory framework which establishes the basis for the uniform development of aquaculture in Spain, without prejudice to the powers and responsibilities assumed by the autonomous communities.