Eurofish News

Romania hosts high level fisheries and aquaculture conference

2016 Int Bucharest ConfThe high-level conference Towards Enhanced Cooperation on Black Sea Fisheries and Aquaculture consisted of an expert session with several panels, one of which was on aquaculture. It included experts from many of the countries in the region as well as the GFCM, European Commission and Eurofish, and the discussions established that sustainable development and growth depends on identifying suitable areas for farming fish and seafood, more research and better dissemination of knowledge on markets and trends, less red tape, and greater use of technology.

The event also considered the main challenges and future strategies for the Black Sea fisheries and aquaculture by high-level representatives from the riparian countries, international, and regional organisations. All the riparian countries, as well as other important actors in the region, recognised that regional cooperation and synergies were essential for solving the many challenges in the sector including developing sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, combating illegal practices, and mitigating threats to the marine environment.

2016 Int Bucharest Conf2Achim Irimescu, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Romania, said that "it was vital to strike a balance between immediate economic interests and the protection of marine fisheries resources in the Black Sea," while Nicolae Dimulescu, President of the National Agency for Fisheries and Aquaculture of Romania commented that the road was being paved towards "a clean sea for happy fishers."

Romania: Eurofish meeting with National Agency for Fisheries and Aquaculture

Aina ANPA2016A delegation from Eurofish, Aina Afanasjeva, Director, Anca Sfetcovici, Head of Project Unit, and Ekaterina Tribilustova, Market Specialist, met with representatives of the Romanian National Agency for Fisheries and Aquaculture (ANPA): Nicolae Dimulescu, President, Ancuta Kazimirovicz, Public Manager, and Constantin Stroe, Counsellor. The meeting was held in connection with the High-level Conference towards Enhanced Cooperation on Black Sea Fisheries and Aquaculture, held in Bucharest on 24-25 October 2016.

The discussion covered a range of topics including the joint organisation of workshops and conferences on trade and markets, B2B meetings, as well as the translation of the new guide to recirculation aquaculture technologies into Romanian. Both sides agreed to deepen Eurofish's cooperation with ANPA and Romanian stakeholders, especially regarding the transfer of knowledge concerning good aquaculture practices. Moreover, the two sides discussed promoting the Romanian fisheries and aquaculture sector and its products at international trade fairs and events as well as through the Eurofish Magazine. Another issue to be discussed in detail was fisheries data collection, which both sides consider highly important.

Lithuanian workshop on aquaculture suggests the way forward

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.

Unleashing the cooperation potential between Georgia and EUROFISH

2016 GeorgiaLevan Davitashvili, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Georgia, met with Aina Afanasjeva, Director of EUROFISH International Organisation, in August 2016. At the meeting both sides expressed a willingness to strengthen cooperation in the area of aquaculture and fisheries.

Mr Davitashvili gave a detailed account of the current situation in the sector stressing Georgian priorities for the sector's further development, which include better utilisation of the existing potential of water resources to increase local aquaculture production. He also noted that the Georgian Government has identified agriculture (including aquaculture) as a priority sector in the year 2017. This involves devising and implementing various activities aimed at developing the sector.

Ms Afanasjeva presented the core activities of EUROFISH to the Deputy Minister and expressed her willingness to further deepen the cooperation especially with regard to sharing experience of good aquaculture practices, creating awareness of the Georgian fish farming sector, and promoting its image.

Eurofish has fruitful meeting with Polish counterpart

Aina PolandAs of January 2016 a new ministry, the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation, is responsible for the fisheries and aquaculture sector in Poland. Aina Afanasjeva, Director of Eurofish, and Behnan Thomas, editor of Eurofish Magazine, met Janusz Wrona, the newly appointed director of the Fisheries Department and his team to discuss the most recent developments and future plans for the Polish fisheries and aquaculture sector. Among the issues discussed were the role and importance of the Baltfish regional forum which Poland led from July 2015 to June 2016. The insufficient availability of cod in the Baltic sea was one of the issues that Poland prioritised during its presidency and will continue to focus on in the months to come. The sustainability of fisheries in the Baltic is a priority for Poland, but the director noted that increasing costs for certification were making it difficult for fishing companies to invest in having fisheries assessed to sustainable standards.

Polish aquaculture continues to be dominated by carp and trout, however, Mr Wrona added that Poland was taking measures to diversify species and to add greater value to its production, dedicating resources to salmon farming, as well as to increasing caviar production. Poland today is the fourth largest producer of caviar in Europe. While acknowledging that there were a number of issues to address within the fisheries and aquaculture sector, the director said that innovation and diversification would be critical to ensuring the continued and sustainable development of the sector. The meeting also discussed the upcoming feature on Poland in Eurofish Magazine and collaboration opportunities, such as the organisation of workshops and conferences on trade and markets, as well as the translation of the guide to recirculation aquaculture technologies into Polish.