finlands EU Presidency will begin in Vaasa with the meeting from 29 June to 1 July of the EU's Directors-General for Fisheries. For the first time aquaculture will be the main theme of the meeting. The subject is of current interest, as aquaculture's share in fish production is on the increase.
in addition to raising fish, aquaculture also includes the raising of other aquatic organisms such as shrimps, mussels and algae. Aquaculture practised in the EU constitutes about 2,5% of the world's total aquaculture production. Though this is a low figure, the EU is the world's second largest aquaculture production area, coming after Asia.
the purpose of the meeting is to discuss the Member States' views on current aquaculture matters. Among the topics to be discussed are the effects of aquaculture on the environment and the ways by which the Member States seek to further reduce the negative environmental effects of the industry. Another important theme is the industry's competitiveness and how it can be improved. During the meeting the Member States will also familiarize themselves with each others views on a strategy of sustained development of aquaculture in the EU.
during this informal meeting no decisions will be made; instead, the discussion will furnish background material for the preparation of a fishery policy. Similar meetings have traditionally been organized by most Member States holding the EU Presidency. This meeting will be organised in co-operation with Austria.
additional information from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry:
director-general Seppo Havu, tel.: 040 545 2146
counsellor of Fisheries Orian Bondestam, tel.: 0400 392 011