Seafish group addresses issues affecting the aquaculture sector

Posted by Karen Green on 14 November 2011

The Seafish Aquaculture Common Issues Group met in London at the end of last week. The ACIG is the newest forum facilitated by Seafish, and as its name suggests it covers issues affecting the aquaculture industry.

There is no doubt that with the growing demand for seafood aquaculture provides a means to supplement wild capture fisheries. Aquaculture already supplies nearly half the world's seafood consumed by humans, but with a global seafood shortage of 50 - 80 million tonnes predicted by 2030, aquaculture must do even more to help meet that growing demand. However the industry has both its advocates and its critics.

The ACIG was set up at the end of 2009 as a forum for an exchange of information on all aspects of the aquaculture industry - to promote its potential for future sustainable development, as well as answer ethical and environmental challenges. Those challenges can (and do) include minimising impact on the environment, making the best use of locally available resources, complying with national legislation and ensuring the best use of feed and therapeutic products.

The group brings together bodies from across the aquaculture sector including the main producers associations, food and fish feed processors, retailers, environmental NGOs, Government Departments and regional development organisations, providing an opportunity for the aquaculture sector collectively to address issues affecting its industry.

Topics covered at last weeks' meeting included: seafood certification and labelling; progress on the English Aquaculture Strategy; an update on the activities of the Cleaner Seas Forum; recent stories in the media; the use of fishmeal trimmings in fish feed; Scottish research on consumer seafood buying patterns and their attitude to aquaculture; and the latest developments in aquaculture research. We have also covered the Surfers against Sewage campaign for clean water and food security.

We issue monthly news monitors, communicate regularly and keep the Seafish website up-to-date with the latest developments. We are now on the lookout for topics to cover at the next meeting which is due to held end February/early March 2012. Contact Karen Green.

Karen Green, Secretary, Aquaculture Common Issues Group