About 75 percent of the world's most valuable marine fish stocks are either fished to the limits or over-fished. At the same time world fish consumption has increased from 45 million tonnes in 1973 to more than 130 million in 2000, with an estimated rising demand in the future. In order to serve this increasing demand on the long run, sustainable alternatives have to be strengthened.
The most promising one is the aquaculture industry, dominated by SMEs (90%), providing more than 60.000 jobs in Europe, including upstream and downstream activities. It has undergone a revolution over the last decades and can now be regarded as a significant segment of the EU economy and global fisheries sector. However, disorientation regarding best practices and the need t o be competitive especially against low cost producers from Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean result in an increasing pressure on the aquaculture farms, especially in the case of SMEs. Moreover, several adverse impacts resulting for instance from the discharge of effluents, water extraction, chemicals use or genetic releases are opposed to upcoming restrictive European and national environmental and health legislations and demands.
The success of European's aquaculture farmers in the growing global aqua culture market depend in a great measure on farmers' ability to stand the different requirements: to compete with foreign aquaculture products and to respond to European and national political and consumers' quality, environmental and health requirements.
Therefore, the overall objective of the proposed project is to expand the knowledge base of the European freshwater aquaculture farmers by training them mainly in following three clusters of innovation:
(1) Diversification of economical valuable products,
(2) Improving product quality, and
(3) Improving the profitability of production; and with this to improve their overall competitiveness.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCollective - SMEs-Collective research projects