The European Commission has adopted a Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system and a Biodiversity Strategy to bring nature back into our lives. The strategies are mutually reinforcing, bringing together nature, fishers, farmers, business and consumers to jointly work towards a competitively sustainable future in line with the European Green Deal.
Under the Farm to Fork initiative, forthcoming strategic guidelines for the sustainable development of EU aquaculture will provide direction to increase the sector’s sustainability and competitiveness. They should also guide the sector towards a 50% reduction of antimicrobials use as well as the increase in organic aquaculture production. The Commission also plans a separate strategy for the development of algae production and use in the EU. Moreover, the strategy reiterates the need for full implementation of the common fisheries policy, stressing in particular the efforts still to be undertaken in the Mediterranean. A number of measures, including financial instruments, will be available to support European fishers and aquaculture producers in driving the necessary transition. All initiatives announced in the Farm to Fork Strategy will be subject to further discussion and consultation with the stakeholders.
The Biodiversity Strategy aims to strengthen the protection of marine ecosystems and to restore them to achieve “good environmental status,” through the expansion of protected areas and the establishment of strictly protected areas for habitats and fish stocks recovery. The strategy stresses the need for an ecosystem-based approach to the management of human activities at sea. This means addressing the overexploitation of fishing stocks to or under Maximum Sustainable Yield levels (i.e. a level that will allow a healthy future for the fish stock's biomass); eliminating bycatch, or at least reducing it to non-dangerous levels, in order to protect sea mammals, turtles and birds, especially those that are threatened with extinction or in bad status; and tackling practices that damage the seabed.
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