April 6, 2021
Aquaculture's importance in implementing European Green Deal highlighted
The Aquaculture Advisory Council (AAC), a stakeholder representative organisation created to provide official advice to the European Commission, European Parliament, EU Member-States and various committees, has issued a report stating that aquaculture can play an important role in the implementation of the European Green Deal (EGD).
The report was issued as AAC works through the process of developing advice on consumer information, seaweed production, the data collection framework, food security and the climate footprint of the EU food system.
The latest recommendation from AAC, published at the end of March 2021, addresses the climate footprint of the EU food system in response to the EGD, which sets out how to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.
AAC contends Europe's aquaculture sector can contribute to the EGD by improving the use of aquatic resources by promoting new sources of protein and by further developing aquaculture systems with low carbon footprints, such as algae and bivalves. But it warned there is currently no commonly accepted methodology for assessing climate impact, so it is difficult to compare different aquaculture products on the market.
AAC also pressed the need for the creation of a common EU life-cycle assessment tool for quantifying climate impact at the farm level and called for a common food policy aimed at reducing the environmental and climate footprint of the EU food system to ensure EGD targets can be met. It further emphasised the importance of the circular economy in aquaculture, the importance of exploring new forms of energy efficiency and energy production, and proposed the introduction of national and EU policies for promoting climate-friendly public procurement.
Additionally, AAC stressed that seafood not complying with EU environmental standards should not be imported to EU markets and that minimum standards for sustainability should be introduced.
The EU should also be fostering development and use of alternative feed materials from responsible and sustainable sources, such as insects, marine algae and byproducts such as fish waste, AAC said.