It is less than one month until Europe’s largest aquaculture event kicks off in Rimini on September 27th. The theme for this years’ event is “Innovative solutions in a changing world”.
Challenges for the aquaculture industry include the loss of biodiversity, the depletion of natural resources, pollution, and if that is not already enough: climate change on top of it all. All these impairments have to be overcome if the European aquaculture industry is to grow. According to Eurostat, the production volume over the past years already decreased (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Production of aquaculture products in tons of live weight in 27th EU member states (UK excluded) . Source: Eurostat, 2022
While some countries like France and Greece increased their production, the aquaculture production in countries like Malta and Italy saw a steep decline.
The Aquaculture Europe conference seeks to address these issues and transition towards a sustainable, responsible and productive and climate-neutral European aquaculture sector for key marine and freshwater fish, shellfish and algal species.
One particularly interesting session is the Aquaculture Europe 2022 Innovation Forum titled “From Policy to Solutions”. The session is co-organised by the European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform, the European Commission and the European Aquaculture Society. One of their key goals is to create the correct circumstances for the successful uptake of innovative solutions across aquaculture value chains.
One of the innovations that is EIT Food-funded is the AGAPE project which seeks to develop an AI-supported platform to match jobs with skills, allowing working from the aquaculture sector as well as other sectors to reskill and upskill to meet the needs of the transforming industry.