SFS-11a-2014 - Optimizing space availability for European Aquaculture
Specific challenge: Access to space and high quality water are essential for European aquaculture operators. In particular, the lack of spatial planning is considered as one of the factors hindering the expansion of European aquaculture. Therefore, establishment of reliable (inland, coastal and offshore) spatial plans should be crucial for facilitating investment and development of the sector. Aquaculture also needs a high quality aquatic environment for ensuring the production of safe and nutritious seafood products. Subsequently, human activities, including operations of some specific aquaculture segments, that might affect negatively (e.g. through the impact of chemical, antibiotics, organic wastes, etc.) fresh water and marine ecosystems might also compromise the sustainability of European aquaculture. Therefore, ensuring the environmental sustainability of aquaculture practices is essential not only for guaranteeing compliance with the existing regulatory framework but also for improving the image of the European aquaculture sector. This should ultimately secure that the maximum economic potential of growth and employment is reached by the sector.
Scope: Proposals should address one of the following issues (A):
A.  Optimizing space availability for European Aquaculture
Proposals should provide operational tools for spatial planning (including Geographic Information Systems, remote sensing and mapping for data management, analysis and modelling, decision-support tools) to support national administrations and business operators in identifying the potential for aquaculture to expand in Europe in terms of space requirements and conflicts with other users. Proposals should also focus on the development of innovative applications allowing promotion of these tools and training of all the potential end users. The development of these tools should take into account specificities of different European aquaculture segments, while covering the regional diversity of the European aquaculture sector.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 3 million for (A) would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
Expected impact: Proposals should show how some, or all, of the following impacts will be achieved:
· Support the Member States in establishing a coherent and efficient regulatory framework, implementing the Strategic Guidelines for the sustainable development of European Aquaculture and delivering a framework for sustainable growth.
· Support the development and implementation of coastal and marine spatial planning.
· Availability of new and efficient operational tools allowing national administrations to reduce the cost and time for delivering licenses for aquaculture operators.
· Contribution in creating enabling conditions for facilitating investments in European aquaculture through the provision of better observation, forecasting and decision support technologies.
· Availability of tools for reliable prediction and monitoring of environmental impacts of aquaculture operations.
· Strengthening the environmental sustainability of the aquaculture sector and enhancement of its image.
· Availability of tools for quantification of environmental services provided by the aquaculture sector
Type of action: Research and innovation actions