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Recognizing the importance of having clear guidance on how the finfish aquaculture sector can substantially contribute to EU environmental objectives, the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP) and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) have worked to develop a simplified set of technical screening criteria.
The final goal is to deliver it to the European Commission, which, according to these organizations, “is needing them for initiatives such as the Sustainable Food System, the Marketing Standards for the Common Market Organisation for Fisheries and Aquaculture, and the Taxonomy Regulation.”
16 criteria and 35 indicators for finfish aquaculture
FEAP and ASC remark that finfish aquaculture can contribute substantially to the circular economy, the protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems, climate change mitigation, and social objectives. On that basis, they say, sustainably farmed finfish aquaculture should play an important role in the transition to a sustainable food system in the European Union.
In this context, there is a need for the availability of technical selection criteria applicable to all producers within the EU that are also easy to handle. The Federation of European Aquaculture Producers and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council have set a total of 16 technical selection criteria and 35 indicators for marine and freshwater finfish aquaculture, which “should secure no significant harm regarding environmental and social objectives.”
Supporting the ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy
Currently, the EU food system is responsible for almost a third of global greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, in line with its ‘From Farm to Fork’ strategy, the EU needs to redesign it. Since it is widely recognized and accepted that aquatic-based foods have a lower environmental and climate impact than alternative land animal proteins, a dietary shift towards greater consumption of aquatic-based foods is seen as part of the solution to climate change.
According to FEAP and ASC, to ensure such a sustainable food system, a transition to a more resource-efficient and circular economy, while maintaining profitable business and social value, is essential. Both organizations recognize that food availability is not currently a major concern in Europe. However, they think that ensuring a sustainable, safe, affordable, and nutritious food supply is a challenge for any society. And, they recall, aquaculture can contribute to this transition of the food system “by producing safe, nutritious, environmentally friendly and climate efficient food.”
About FEAP and ASC
The Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP) is the Federation of National Aquaculture Associations in Europe that represents professional fish farming. It supports and promotes the responsible development of aquaculture and provides common positions and opinions of the European aquaculture sector.
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is a certification program and label for farmed seafood. It promotes responsible seafood farming as a contributory solution in helping feed the world’s population with care for our planet and people. Through its work, ASC is helping to address some of the most pressing consumer, social and environmental challenges of our time.
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