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Finfish news announcements 2015 - Part 1

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Below are the best announcements over the last quarter from across the international aquaculture industry and government bodies.

1. Aquatic animal health news and consultations

News and consultations from the Fish Health Inspectorate about disease outbreaks and policy changes which affect the aquaculture industry.

2. Global Food Security (GFS) publication on the UK aquaculture industry

Global Food Security (GFS) is a multi-agency programme bringing together the main UK funders of research and training related to food. The GFS Insight series provides balanced analysis of food related research, for use by policy-makers and practitioners.

3. Defra publishes United Kingdom Multiannual National Plan for the Development of Sustainable Aquaculture

Aquaculture represents a growing contributor to the production of aquatic food worldwide. Most fisheries in the world are currently near or above sustainable exploitation limits. In parallel, global consumption of fish as food has doubled in the period 1973-2003. Various projections have been made to 2020 on fish supply and demand, which confirm that per capita consumption of fish as food is expected to rise.

Aquaculture is one of the UK’s key strategic food production sectors and helps to underpin sustainable economic growth, both in rural and coastal communities and in the wider economy. The industry provides community benefits in high quality, secure jobs and related social infrastructure. The UK is committed to continue supporting industry-led sustainable growth of aquaculture.

This support for growth has new impetus at EU level. The Commission is keen to use the opportunities presented by Common Fisheries Policy Reform and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (the financial instrument to support CFP implementation) to boost aquaculture growth. It therefore requires Member States to produce Multiannual National Plans (MANPs) outlining how they intend to foster growth in the aquaculture industry.

The UK’s Multiannual National Plan for development of sustainable aquaculture aims to demonstrate the diverse nature of the aquaculture industry throughout the UK, both in terms of nature and scale of the sector but also in terms of relative position and response of administrations within the UK facing these aquaculture growth challenges.

The UK’s Multiannual National Plan for aquaculture takes account of four major areas:

  1. The structure, management and national support of the industry as it exists in 2013, and the inherent or latent trends in its development and in the developments of the markets it supplies;
  2. The European Union’s clearly articulated objectives for growth in sustainable aquaculture, as a component of Blue Growth, thereby enhancing long term seafood security;
  3. The outcomes of the SWOT Analysis and Needs Assessment undertaken in preparation for the new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), which will operate for the period 2014 – 2020;
  4. Consideration of specific Articles in the (draft) EMFF Regulation, and how these might serve to support elements of the three strands noted above.

4. Marine finfish demonstration project in SW England will not be progressed at this time

An opportunity to take part in a demonstration project in SW England was launched in September 2013, when Expressions of Interest were sought from experienced aquaculture operators.

Over the summer and early autumn, a consortium comprising Cefas, The Crown Estate and the British Trout Association has been managing a process for the selection of the commercial operator for the Cornwall Aquaculture Demonstration Project.  While there were several expressions of interest in taking forward this work, they did not meet the project's terms of reference in the given timescale to deliver a project of the highest standard. Therefore, Cefas and the consortium have decided that the current demonstration project will not be progressed at this time.

Cefas and the consortium members remain supportive of the sustainable development of aquaculture across England and Wales, and believe that projects based on sound science, stakeholder engagement and the sharing of information such as this can make a valuable contribution to future growth.

5. New appointment for Seafish Aquaculture

Lee Cocker has recently joined Seafish as Aquaculture Manager to help deliver the Domestic Aquaculture Strategy programme, which is part of the new Seafish Corporate Plan 2015-2018.

6. Better design, better targeting needed for sustainable development of aquaculture at EU and Member State level – say EU Auditors

A report published today by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) reveals that measures to support aquaculture in the period up to 2013 were not well designed and implemented at EU and Member State level. And that the European Fisheries Fund (EFF), as the funding instrument of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), failed to deliver value for money and effective support for the sustainable development of aquaculture.

7. FAWC advice on farmed fish welfare

The reports recognise that the industry takes fish welfare seriously and has adopted voluntary codes of practice and assurance standards.

Farmed fish have less detailed legal protection than other farm animals on farm or at killing. FAWC’s advice aims to influence progress on this at European and domestic levels with well researched and clearly expressed advice.

The advice reaches conclusions on killing methods for fish FAWC considers should or should not be used and why.

FAWC makes recommendations for reviews of enforcement of existing regulation and of veterinary medicines available for fish; as well as on management, husbandry, training and research topics.

8. 7,500 fish in Christmas stocking helps revive West London river

The River Crane in Middlesex has been restocked with thousands of fish as it continues its recovery from 2 serious pollution incidents. The Environment Agency, released 2,000 chub, 2,000 dace, 2,000 roach and 1,500 barbel supplied from the Environment Agency’s own Calverton Fish Farm where they were bred.

9. Angling Trust launches a new fund for fishery improvements

The Angling Trust is delighted to launch a new ‘Fishery Improvement Fund’. The funding comes from the Environment Agency from some of the proceeds of rod licence sales. The £65,000 Fund will make awards of up to £5,000 to eligible organisations for buying equipment, to make habitat improvements or for projects that get people fishing and support the aims of the National Angling Strategy ‘Fishing for Life’. 

10. National Diet and Nutrition Survey: fish consumption too low

Mean consumption of oily fish in all age groups was well below the recommended one portion (140g) per week.  Oily fish includes anchovies, carp, trout, mackerel, herring, jack fish, pilchards, salmon (including canned),sardines, sprats, swordfish, tuna (fresh only) and whitebait.

11. Seafish urges consumers to eat more fish to boost Vitamin D and Omega 3 intake

The significant impact of Vitamin D deficiency on children was recently highlighted in a report which found a growing number of cases of rickets in children and babies. Omega 3 is particularly important for cardio-vascular health and foetal development. Oil-rich fish like tuna, salmon and mackerel are among the most substantial sources of Omega 3 and Vitamin D.

12. Implementing marketing standards and labelling requirements for fishery and aquaculture products

This consultation has concluded and sought views on implementing marketing standards and labelling requirements for fish and aquaculture products. A summary of responses is available.

13. BBSRC and NERC commit £5M to research proposals on sustainable aquaculture.

To support aquaculture related research in seven priority areas:

  • Host- pathogen and environmental interactions
  • Biology of health and disease resistance
  • Immunology of infection and protection, including vaccinology
  • Tools, methods and technologies for diagnostics, experimental resources, and environmental systems
  • New technologies for monitoring and predicting weather and climate-related hazards and risks to the expanding aquaculture sector as it moves into environments more exposed to wind and waves
  • Determining interactions between wild and farmed fish
  • Assessing the long-term environmental capacity for increased aquaculture production

14. An in-depth assessment of the existing evidence related to fisheries and aquaculture activities in developing countries and their contribution to economic growth, food security and nutrition.

In November 2012, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) set the terms of reference for a commissioned assessment of fisheries and aquaculture science. The task was to complete a ‘scoping review’, consisting of an in-depth assessment of the existing evidence related to fisheries and aquaculture activities in developing countries and their contribution to economic growth, food security and nutrition. For this the assessment was expected to identify the existing evidence and ‘evidence in the pipeline’ (i.e. to be published imminently) from the existing literature, compile it, and provide an assessment of the strength (in the sense, scientific rigor) of that evidence, and identify knowledge or evidence gaps. In addition the assessment was to be complemented by a mapping of existing relevant interventions in fisheries and aquaculture.

15. Scottish Natural Heritage publish guidance on preventing non-native species introduction

Legislative changes mean it is now an offence to introduce non-native species to Scottish waters through commercial or recreational marine activities, even if the introduction was unintentional. These legislative changes empower government agencies to serve Voluntary, Statutory and finally Emergency Species Control Orders (SCOs) on businesses to reverse the situation. Where offences occur, measures taken to eradicate NNS will be financed on a ‘Polluter Pays Principal’. This has the potential to be costly for businesses, which could be temporarily shut-down and may be charged for imposed clean-up operations.

Shellfish and finfish farms have to develop Biosecurity Measures Plans to cover disease risk as a condition of their licence. This guide can also be used to expand these plans to include non-native species.


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