SPAIN - Spanish authorities, producer organisations and research institutes arranged open door visits and conferences across Spain yesterday to celebrate the annual "Día de la Acuicultura" ("Say yes to sustainable aquaculture"). This year, the European Commission joined in the celebrations, supporting the "Di sí a la acuicultura sostenible" competition launched by the Observatorio Español de Acuicultura from Fundación Biodiversidad (Mapama).
As part of the campaign, the "FARMED in the EU" schoolkit developed by the European Commission was promoted to hundreds of schools across the country.
To date, more than 1700 Spanish pupils from 37 schools and 27 aquaculture experts (producers, scientists, officials) have been involved in 62 workshops under the label #CRIADOenlaUE. The campaign, which started in September, will continue until May.
The winners for best drawings and best projects were announced at an event in Madrid on Monday. The European Commission underlined the exemplary campaign carried out by the Spanish authorities, emphasising the sustainability of these "farmers in the water".
In a video message, Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Karmenu Vella congratulated the organisers on the campaign's success, while emphasising the crucial role of teachers as the link between youth, science and industry.
Spain is the EU's number one in terms of aquaculture production (226,000 tonnes in 2013) and jobs (20,000 producers out of 85,000) and is among EU leaders in research.
Under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), funding worth €206m will go to more than 850 aquaculture projects in Spain. The Spanish multiannual plan for the development of sustainable aquaculture aims to increase Spain's production volume by 20 per cent by 2020, and its value by 26 per cent.
TheFishSite News Desk