News Digest n.6 / 2023
The overall sustainability of the EU fisheries has improved and fewer stocks are overfished, according to a Commission Communication ‘Sustainable fishing in the EU: state of play and orientations for 2024'. The Communication, released yearly by the Commission, provides updates on the state of the EU fisheries and initiates a public consultation on the current situation and the future directions of fishing opportunities for the upcoming year.
On 26 May 2023, the European Commission launched the European Blue Forum to foster dialogue among all sea users, including offshore operators, stakeholders and scientists engaged in fisheries, aquaculture, shipping, tourism, renewable energy and other activities at sea. The objective of the European Blue Forum is to develop synergies between maritime activities and reconcile the various uses of the sea. More than 150 people attended the launch event of the European Blue Forum in Océanopolis, Brest, and around 250 joined the meeting online.
Plans to introduce an additional 40 percent tax on salmon were announced by the Labour Party and Centre Party coalition government in September last year, but they have since been struggling to achieve a consensus for the tax. The Norwegian government has succeeded in implementing its controversial salmon tax, but has been forced to reduce the rate from 35 to 25 percent due to political opposition.
The AlgaeProBANOS project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe programme, will directly contribute to the Blue Mission BANOS lighthouse initiative, which engages and supports stakeholders across the Baltic and North Sea to reach a carbon-neutral and circular blue economy. Spanning four years and with a budget of over €12 million, of which around €1 million is to be contributed by SMEs, AlgaeProBANOS will focus on leveraging the unique properties of algae to create new, high-value products and services for a variety of applications.
In many countries around the EU, small-town coastal communities are struggling to retain young people in the aquaculture sector. Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) has taken things into its own hands with the EU-funded Aquaculture Remote Classroom (ARC). This mobile classroom tours small towns around the country, delivering aquaculture education and awareness to primary schools.
Norwegian firm AKVA Group ‘showcasing the circular economy’ by making aquaculture pens from recycled plastic. With support from Handelens Miljøfond, a Norwegian retailers’ fund, discarded plastic pens from Aldersundet in Lurøy are cut up and granulated by Oceanize before being shipped to Plasto and AKVA group to produce parts for new pens. Norway’s aquaculture generates up to 12,000 tons of plastic waste each year, so hopes are high that this latest work will spur the sector to make important choices toward a more responsible future.