Aquaculture Policy & Regulation

Demands for fish and shellfish as food products are increasing; however, the potential for large scale production faces numerous challenges. Policy and legislation are likely to have an impact on the development of more sustainable aquaculture practices such as integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA). In most countries a specific aquaculture policy document does not exist and aquaculture is normally included basically in the Fishery Sector Development Policy, document. It is also mentioned in other strategic policy documents; those for Industry and Environment are the two major policy documents concerned. In the absence of specific policy, aquaculture development is mainly based on development plans elaborated by the authorities in charge for the administering the sector but without formal approval. Participatory mechanisms concerned with the definition of policy mostly comprise unofficial consultations, with three exceptions. The first is in Spain where a formal Consultative Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture has been established in Cataluña which includes representatives from the aquaculture sector. The second exception is Greece, where there is an Agricultural Policy Council (APC) operating within the Ministry of Agriculture; this is a consultative body within which representatives from the Ministry itself, scientific organisations, producers, and universities participate. The third exception is France, where there are "inter-professional committees".

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