Accelerating Sustainable Aquaculture in the western Mediterranean
Aquaculture is a rapidly expanding activity in the western Mediterranean. Particularly in the countries of the Southern rim, who have embarked on very ambitious policies and strategies for its development.
In recent years, various initiatives have been taken in the region to improve the performance of aquaculture farms. Primarily through new forms of professional or socio-professional organisations, such as clusters or cooperatives.
At the same time, several innovative projects for sustainable aquaculture practices across the Mediterranean basin are on-going, and a platform was recently created by UNEP-MAP initiative to discuss the challenges and opportunities for a aquaculture sustainable sector.
Despite these developments, aquaculture activities remain vulnerable in the countries of the south-western shore of the Mediterranean, given its almost total dependence on mostly imported inputs and technologies.
To tackle these challenges, the specific potentials and challenges of the Mediterranean sub-regions should be taken into account- which implies a reflection on the capacity for innovation, the organisation of business ecosystems and the institutional and regulatory frameworks.
During the WestMED Steering Committee meeting of 12 April 2021, and following the webinar on Sustainable Aquaculture organised by the WestMED Assistance Mechanism in December 2020, it was decided to establish a Technical Group to support the adoption of innovative, eco-compatible sustainable aquaculture practices in the western Mediterranean, focusing on the needs and opportunities of the southern WestMED countries to benefit from existing innovative practices in the region.
This Technical Group (AquaWest) will consist of a number of high level policymakers and stakeholders from the Aquaculture sector.