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COST/EUREKA Twin Event on Aquaculture

Location Patras, Greece
Date 11 - 12 June 2007
Calendar file .vcs  .ics

COST and EUREKA (Aquaculture Platform Innofisk) took the initiative to organise a twin event in Patras, Greece, on 11 and 12 June 2007 bringing researchers and the industry together to discuss issues of common concern.

Aquaculture science is young and public funds for it are limited at the moment. There is a strong need for a consistent R&D agenda to develop the aquaculture sector in a sustainable way, not only environmentally but also economically and socially.

As many academic research groups work on a diverse spectrum of initiatives (various species, systems and scales), the knowledge base is fairly fragmented and scattered. A clustering of these initiatives is needed.

Furthermore, according to FAO data, the global production of fish has to be increased from today’s 120 million tons to 180 million tons in 2030 to cover the future fish markets. This is a considerable increase which has to be covered by aquaculture mainly, taking into account the current situation concerning the fish stocks in the ocean.

To mention a few examples: many species of farmed fish are carnivorous and it can take more than five kilos of caught ocean fish to produce one kilo of farmed salmon or sea bass. For a fast growing sector the conclusion has to be that this is not sustainable, taking into account the decreasing fish stocks in the ocean. There is an urgent need to know more about fish diets, about substituting fish oil and fish meal with other components. Diseases and their prevention is another area for attention in fish farming where many fish live together in a small place. In some areas in Europe coastal aquaculture causes environmental concerns and is competing with the tourist industry. Other factors which need to be considered include consumer demands, legislation and so forth. In many areas knowledge is either lacking or – in case it is available – not always implemented by the industry. Implementation of knowledge is therefore another item in need of attention.

This COST-EUREKA event received valuable support from the experts that took the initiative to set up a European Aquaculture Technology Platform with the aim to define the common vision for the future and strategic research agenda and to promote research implementation.

From the COST side, the recently started COST Action 867 on “Welfare of fish in aquaculture”, representing more than 100 researchers in Europe from 20 countries, also contributed extensively to the success of this event.

The presentations and discussion on the first day of the event were led by researchers whereas those on the second were lead by industry representatives indicating their needs for research. Time was also reserved for brokerage appointments on the second day.

With over 100 subscriptions the event was very well attended and the more than 70 requests for a similar appointment (researchindustry) an additional success indicator. Two journalists of fish farm journals attended the event to ensure dissemination of its results. EUREKA will monitor the results of the appointments and possibly organise a second follow-up event to develop the ideas for common activities further.

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