MEPs adopted a non-binding report on "Fisheries and Aquaculture in the context of Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Europe", the European Parliament stresses the importance of aquaculture to the food industry for social and economic development in some EU coastal communities. Furthermore, "aquaculture for repopulation purposes is an essential tool to achieve ecological conservation in certain coastal zones, and it must therefore be promoted, stimulated and financially supported", MEPs say.
The report drawn up by Ioannis GLAVAKIS (EPP-ED, EL) emphasises that the European Fisheries Fund can contribute to the long-term funding of measures within the framework of Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Europe (ICZM) since it supports actions which contribute to the sustainable development of fishing regions.
The European Parliament says that aquaculture projects which use renewable energy sources and which do not infringe areas protected under EU environmental law should be given priority under ICZM. According to MEPs say that greater research efforts should be made in aquaculture with a view to introducing closed-circuit intensive-production cultivation systems.
The House calls on the Commission, after consulting Member States, to set a clear timetable for examining progress in the implementation of ICZM in the EU.
The importance of proper spatial planning
The implementation of integrated-management policies involves the planning in coastal areas of population-related, tourism-related and economic uses and of landscape and environmental protection.
According to Ioannis GLAVAKIS, "the viability of fishing and aquaculture is being affected by the very rapid transformation of natural coastal areas into artificial surfaces". Between 1990 and 2000 it is estimated that artificial surfaces spread by 190 km2 annually. 61% of this expansion is due to housing, tourism and recreation displacing other activities.
"Regional planning has so far been land-based and has failed to take into account the impact of coastal development on certain marine activities. This has led to limits on fishing grounds and the degradation of marine habitats, i.e. the feeding, spawning and reproduction areas of some species. At the same time, lack of space is also a basic obstacle to the development of European aquaculture", stresses the report, emphasising the importance of proper spatial planning.
This report is the Parliament's reaction to the Commission communication of 7 June 2007 entitled "An evaluation of Integrated Coastal Zone management in Europe".
The report was adopted with 652 votes in favour, 14 against and 25 abstentions.