efa meps march 2018.jpg
Hudghton (Greens/EFA) - Mr President, we welcome this report and also the communication from the Commission, but if we are to have a strategy to promote aquaculture, ensuring that it is properly regulated, then we have to be sure that the strategy is well thought through. Aquaculture, like fish catching, has had its problems, from shipwrecks to infectious salmon anaemia (ISA). Scotland may have some examples which can be followed, where, in the wake of ISA, fish farmers have led the way in adhering to an ISA code. This is particularly important considering that there was no EU funding for compensation or vaccination. Effective and enforceable quality assurance schemes too, such as Scottish Quality Salmon, should have a role, and this should be encouraged. Any strategy must ensure that aquaculture is sustainable, competitive and economically viable as an activity, taking into account environmental and social concerns - including the need to prevent escapes and to have a sustainable means of feeding farmed fish - so that a high-quality, safe product is ensured. There must be a resounding 'no' to genetically modified fish. I will vote accordingly this afternoon.