The ad hoc EIFAC/EC Working Party on Market Perspectives of European Freshwater Aquaculture met to address the current situation of the freshwater aquaculture sector in the EIFAC region with particular focus on problems in marketing. The outcome of the workshop aims to provide key information and strategic advice on how to fulfil the production potential of the sector to (i) policy makers, administrators and legislators; (ii) future investors; (iii) consumers, and, particularly, (iv) producers. Trout and carp (about 94 per cent) dominate European aquaculture, whereas there are other promising candidates for culture that have not been profitably exploited. The freshwater aquaculture industry in Europe is product or producer driven along traditional lines and suffers particularly from a lack of vertical integration, linking producers to consumers through the marketing chain. The producers will remain at a disadvantage unless they develop better links through association or cooperation. While the preparation and implementation of marketing plans is a responsibility of the industry, and must be financed from this source, additional progress and great benefit could be derived from a comprehensive policy framework. Aquaculture as a food producing system in some cases has been perceived as being in conflict with other parts of the ecosystem. This can best be addressed by the development and dissemination of codes of good aquaculture practice. While the demand for organically produced aquaculture products is growing, certification is still largely based on the standards of private certification bodies.
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