In support of one of the CMA priorities “sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in the Black Sea” (Goal I ‘Healthy marine and coastal ecosystems), the CMA participating countries decided to establish a technical group under the topic of “Sustainable Aquaculture”. This decision was endorsed during the CMA Steering Group Meeting in July 2023, under a proposal of the Romanian CMA 2023 coordinator.
Each country selected the best experts in the field and the official kick off meeting of the group was held during the Black Sea Common Maritime Agenda Stakeholder Conference in November 2023, in Bucharest. At the presence of the EU Commission and chaired by the Romanian CMA 2023 coordinator, representatives from each country presented the state of play of the aquaculture sector in their respective regions, highlighting gaps, needs and existing best practices. Among these are the need for better investment and market development strategies, and a focus on public awareness and collaboration to promote farmed seafood consumption. The Black Sea experts also discussed common challenges such as the and climate mitigation role of the sector, as well as research and innovation opportunities in terms of species diversification and technology transfer.
Discussing about the future work of the group, participants proposed:
addressing regulatory barriers, and legislative implementation;
identifying options for harmonization among existing development frameworks for the Black Sea aquaculture; identifying suitable species for Black Sea cultivation;
boosting research and innovation on algae cultivation;
implementing training programmes;
prioritising the importance of comprehensive data management;
generating project ideas.
The meeting concluded with the proposal to develop a roadmap and an action plan based on ideas of the experts, with a pledge to involve more local experts in future discussions. An active engagement and the first actionable results are expected in 2024 under the MD coordination.