EU policies: New opportunities for aquaponics
Aquaponics is a modern and sustainable food production technology. This paper reviews different policies relevant to aquaponics in order to create a clear picture on how aquaponics can contribute to achieving European goals and how the policies and strategies can provide support and opportunities for this sector. Because aquaponics falls into fish as well as plant production relevant policies are the Common Agriculture Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy, the European Union (EU) Food Safety and Nutrition Policy, and the EU Environmental Policy. Goals of these policies that are related to aquaponics include promoting innovation, increasing competitiveness and sustainability, improving access to space and water, welfare of fish, prevention of waste, and promoting resource-efficiency and low-carbon economy. Aquaponics contributes to achieving these goals by minimising water and nutrient use, utilising areas unfit for other food production systems, facilitating local food production and thus providing new business opportunities. The EU provides various frameworks for financial support for the different components of aquaponics, resulting in a range of opportunities for the newcomer as well as the already established aquaponics entrepreneurs. Financial support mostly targets research projects, while the sector also needs assistance in the commercial development.
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