Aquaculture, API: quick action is needed on energy costs and traceability of 'made in Italy' fish
Clear information should be provided to consumers indicating the origin (fishing or farming) and country of origin of the fish
23, Dec 2022
Aquaculture is a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable activity. Focusing on this sector improves national food self-sufficiency for fish products and helps bridge the gap between consumption and production of sustainable fish farming in the European Union. This was highlighted by the API (Italian Fish Farmers Association) of Confagricoltura speaking at the informal hearing before Christmas, at the Agriculture commission of the Chamber of Deputies.
In 2021, aquaculture produced 180,000 tons of fish and shellfish products, with a turnover of around 500 million euros in the 850 production sites concentrated 60% in the North, 15% in the center and 25% to the south.
“The continuation of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict - said the vice president of API, Marco Gilmozzi - has significantly increased energy costs for our companies, which have extremely high consumption. We ask that those that carry out aquaculture in land-based plants using fresh, brackish or salt water be included in the list of energy-intensive companies. To achieve greater energy efficiency it would also be necessary to allow innovative photovoltaic systems on structures such as tanks or breeding ponds".
In Italy, 25 fish species are bred in great biodiversity in different environments: fresh water, brackish water (lagoons), sea. The most farmed fish is trout, followed by sea bream and sea bass. We also produce 130 million fry of valuable marine fish species and we are European leaders for sturgeon caviar.
"Precisely for these reasons - added the director of fish farmers of Confagricoltura, Andrea Fabris - it is necessary to provide clear information to consumers indicating the origin (fishing or farming) and the country of origin of the fish, in the same way as is already obligation for retail sale in supermarkets or fishmongers. Transparency with the mandatory labeling of fish products, supplied through the Ho.Re.Ca. channels, protects consumer rights and made in Italy productions”.
Finally, the problem of the duration of concessions for aquaculture and of the awarding procedures was highlighted. For fish farmers it is necessary to launch, as soon as possible, calls for tenders for the use of residual funds from the EMFF for financial compensation for loss of income and for additional costs incurred due to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, by activating a similar procedure for the use of EMFF funds relating to the 2021-2027 programming. API underlined the vitality of the sector whose number of employees is constantly growing.