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European and Mediterranean Aquaculture data collection and reporting under the STECF

Fisheries and aquaculture are managed under the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)
Managing the exploitation of fish and shellfish stocks in European marine waters falls under the European Union (EU)’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), which was formally established in 1983 (Council of the European Communities, 1983), and has since undergone reforms in 1992, 2002, and 2013 (EU, 2013). The scope of the CFP extends to joint conservation, management and exploitation of living aquatic resources by EU member states, with the objective of biological, economic and social sustainability.

The CFP requires considering scientific advice (based on Dörner et al., 2018)
The Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE – (https://ec.europa.eu/maritimeaffairs) is the European Commission’s department responsible for implementation of the CFP. The CFP explicitly requires the European Commission to take ‘into account available scientific, technical and economic advice’ (EU, 2013) when drafting legislative proposals for the European Parliament and Council. Accordingly, European Commission proposals relating to fisheries management must be based on scientific advice. Hence implementation of the CFP requires both the assistance of specialised experts and the availability of high-quality data and analyses. The European Commission’s own expert scientific independent advisory body on fisheries and aquaculture is the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF – https://stecf.jrc.ec.europa.eu/index.html). The STECF is being consulted at regular intervals on matters pertaining to the conservation and management of living aquatic resources, including biological, economic, environmental, social and technical considerations (European Commission, 2016). The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) also has a role in the scientific advisory process by providing advice directly to DG MARE, through participation in the STECF and its Expert Working Groups (EWGs).Continue reading

SOFIA and Mediterranean Aquaculture

 

The name of Sofia has deep 2Mediterranean roots. Of Greek origin meaning “wisdom”, Sofia was the name of an early, probably mythical, saint who died of grief after her three daughters were martyred during the reign of the Roman emperor Hadrian. Sofia is also a very popular girls’ name in many Western and Latin countries, as well as among partners of the MedAID H2020 Project. For many years, an actress (Sophia Loren) made us to believe that Sofia was a synonym of Mediterranean… beauty. More recently, Sophia has been used in Artificial Intelligence to name the world’s first robot declared a citizen by Saudi Arabia.

SOFIA is also the acronym of a well known report published every two years by FAO about The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture.  The 2018 edition of SOFIA emphasizes the sector’s role in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. As in past editions, SOFIA makes an analysis of the major trends and patterns observed in global fisheries and aquaculture, and it reviews new and upcoming topics and areas that need to be considered when managing aquatic resources. SOFIA 2018 is available in the five FAO official languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish). It can be downloaded here in PDF format, and for the first time in MOBI and E-PUB versions too.Continue reading

The Need for Simplicity and Multidisciplinary Approaches in Aquaculture

Whenever a new technology with direct effect on our activity comes to light, it usually dazzles us. That first flash, the glow of novelty, is sometimes so intense that we forget the basics and focus on finding a direct, immediate application for it; and if it is a complex application, so much the better.

If we look at the unmet needs of farmers, as we are doing in projects such as MedAID or PerformFish, we realise the importance of ignoring those dazzling flashes and of the obligation to adopt a multidisciplinary approach based on simplicity, although in order to reach this simplicity, first we must go through a process that is apparently very complex. Such is our case.Continue reading

20 ways to understand a Cluster

The open session for reflection upon innovation challenges in the aquaculture sector took place yesterday. The event was organised by Acuiplus with the collaboration of the Spanish Aquaculture Association (SEA) and the Technical School of Agricultural, Food and Biosystems Engineering of Madrid.

The Acuiplus cluster aims at providing a meeting point among companies from the aquaculture sector in order to foster innovation and promote cooperation, complementarity and communication. Thus, it endeavours to contribute to the improvement of competitiveness, impact and international visibility of its members. Acuiplus comprises more than 25 firms and institutions which belong to the aquaculture industry’s value chain.Continue reading

Aquaculture will be a key player in feeding the planet

“Together with energy sourcing, the greatest challenge faced by Humanity in the forthcoming decades will be that of feeding the 9600 billion inhabitants of the planet Earth by 2050.

In order to rise to this challenge, aquaculture is one of the most viable alternatives to provide Humanity with the necessary protein. It currently plays a vital role worldwide in the fight to eradicate hunger and malnutrition, providing protein-rich food, essential oils, vitamins and minerals for a wide sector of the population. Looking to the future, FAO estimates that by 2030 over 65% of seafood will come from aquaculture”.Continue reading

€600M, is this much or little?

The Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment has published the “Annual Indicators Report: Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Environment 2016”.

Marine and mainland aquaculture are regarded as strategic and the data presented in the survey (from 2015) indicate that the total value of aquaculture production (marine and continental) was 597 million euros, slightly lower (1%) than in the previous year, but steady and higher (6%) than the average of the period 2012-2014.Continue reading

Aquaculture 4.0

The sea begins to manifest a high disagreement with human intervention. The evidence of what the climate change is doing to the sea does not stop surprising us. There is more and more biological uniformity and it is becoming necessary to safeguard a minimum of biodiversity.

It is possible that we should dispense, in the short term, from the way in which we seek food from the sea. The hypocrisy of sustainable and adequate use of resources must be ended. We’re not doing it and it’s going to be harder and harder to do it. The time has come to leave the sea calm.Continue reading