LT AQ Workshop DSC01753Production in the Lithuanian aquaculture sector comes primarily from pond aquaculture. The sales of many domestic fish species have increased due to the growing demand from Lithuanian consumers. In 2015, the volume of traded aquaculture products reached 4,070 tonnes, an increase of 22% compared to the year before. Common carp is the predominant farmed species on the market, although pike, tench, rainbow trout, bream, sturgeon and other species are also cultivated.

A national aquaculture workshop was held at the end of September 2016 in Vilnius to highlight the latest developments in the aquaculture industry, production and trade. Organized by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania and Eurofish International Organisation, the workshop, titled Aquaculture: the way forward, created substantial interest in the aquaculture industry gathering over 60 representatives. Lina Kujalyte, Viceminister of Agriculture and Aina Afanasjeva, Director of Eurofish International Organisation, opened the workshop emphasising the importance of sustainable growth and of products that were competitive on domestic and international markets.

The programme started with updates on the current state, evolution and perspectives of the Lithuanian aquaculture sector by Vytautas Andriuskevicius, National Association of Aquaculture and Fish Products Producers. Speakers from Eurofish International Organisation, Ekaterina Tribilustova and Marco Frederiksen reviewed the European trade in fisheries products, the latest consumer trends, and presented case studies on new aquaculture species from various countries. The nutritional value of aquaculture products was explained by Jogeir Toppe, FAO, who stressed the benefits of freshwater fish for human health.  

Jens Jensen, Akva Group, provided a detailed overview of the prerequisites for successful recirculating systems, based on the experience in various countries, including Chile, Malaysia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and others. From the Lithuanian side Sigitas Jankauskas presented several interesting cases in the period 1995-2015. The programme of the workshop was finalized with an overview of European Maritime and Fisheries Fund funding opportunities in Lithuania by Loreta Brazinskaite, Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania.

In addition to the information provided by the speakers, the workshop facilitated networking activities, discussions, and the exchange of ideas.