English Aquaculture Strategy sets out plan for sustainable growth

A comprehensive strategy which outlines a plan for growth across the English aquaculture sector has been released today by Seafood 2040.
Cover of the English Aquaculture Strategy report by Seafood 2040

The Strategy sets out a vision for aquaculture in England, showing how the sector could become a significant contributor to increased seafood consumption. It also provides a delivery plan for the sustainable development of English aquaculture over the next 20 years. This plan supports a ten-fold increase in production, to approximately 90,000 tonnes, by 2040.

The Strategy also recognises a need for clear leadership and effective collaboration between industry and regulators to meet the challenges facing the sector, including the uncertainties caused by COVID-19 and the UK’s Exit from the EU.

Three documents have been published to present the Strategy in different degrees of detail:

  • A brief overview of key strategic principles and objectives.
  • A summary document which sets the scene, highlighting the opportunities and growth aspirations alongside a plan for delivery.
  • The full report, which also includes a review of the English aquaculture landscape and current barriers to growth, along with the rationale and methodology behind the strategy.

The publication of the Strategy brings England into alignment with the other devolved administrations, which already have published aquaculture development plans.

The foreword for the Strategy was provided by Fisheries Minister Victoria Prentis who said:

Aquaculture is a valued part of England’s seafood industry that provides a livelihood for hundreds of people, and which reliably brings sustainable food to our tables.

I welcome the English Aquaculture Strategy which not only takes into account the current challenges posed by Covid-19, but looks forward to a future in which coordinated action has the potential to achieve significant growth in the sector.
Fisheries Minister Victoria Prentis

Talking about the importance of the English Aquaculture Strategy, Dr Neil Auchterlonie, Chair of Seafood 2040 said:

The development of an English Aquaculture Strategy brings England into alignment with the devolved administrations in the UK in having a strategy for aquaculture development. There are great opportunities here for all stakeholders to work together in support of a growing industry that shows promise and potential for the provision of high value, nutritious and healthy seafood.

The relevance and importance of increasing domestic food production, and employment opportunities in the more fragile rural economies, will be appreciated by all during a current period of uncertainty underlined by the double impacts of COVID-19 and Brexit. This work is much needed, and long overdue.
Dr Neil Auchterlonie, Chair of Seafood 2040

The strategy content has been developed by Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Ltd, working with industry representatives on the Seafood 2040 Aquaculture Leadership Group (ALG).

Tim Huntington, Director at Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Ltd added:

Our approach to developing this English Aquaculture Strategy was to make it aspirational yet realistic. We drew from a combination of stakeholder ambitions as well as a rapidly changing background environment in terms of onshore and offshore technologies, markets and policy drivers. As we emerge from the headwinds and uncertainties of COVID-19 and the EU-Exit process, there seems to be a joint willingness across industry, academia and government to start achieving the actions.
Tim Huntington, Director at Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Ltd

Seafood 2040 is an England-focused strategic programme. We facilitate it in partnership with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and seafood industry partners. The development of an English Aquaculture Strategy was one of the recommendations published in the Seafood 2040 Strategic Framework for England.

Aquaculture businesses in England are encouraged to read the strategy and delivery plan and consider how they might get involved in future developments for the sector. Meetings with key industry stakeholders will take place from early 2021, as the Seafood 2040 ALG starts to focus on delivering the actions within the Strategy.

Further information

Find out more about the English Aquaculture Strategy and download the documents from the link below:

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