The 47th Annual Meeting of FEAP was held in A Coruña, Spain on 29-30 May 2015 and was hosted by ESACUA – the National Association of Continental Aquaculture. The FEAP was founded originally as the European Federation of Trout Growers in 1968, which then incorporated salmon in the 1970s. In 1995, with the adherence of Greece, the Federation changed its statutes to cover all finfish grown in Europe, becoming the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers and this meeting celebrated 20 years of being FEAP.
Over 50 delegates and guests attended this 2-day meeting that covered the status and the issues affecting European fish farming. The meeting was officially opened by a special video message from EU Commissioner Vella, who stressed the importance of the European aquaculture sector and how the Commission will support its growth for the future. Special mention was made of the success of the Schools project of the Commission’s ‘Farmed in the EU’ where several FEAP representatives were involved and which was the focus of a recent meeting at the European Pavilion in EXPO 2015.
The 2 Spanish aquaculture associations, ESACUA and APROMAR, presented the status of marine and continental aquaculture in Spain, followed by welcome speeches by Mr. Andres Hermida Trastoy, General Secretary for Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture and Environment, and by Ms. Rosa, Quitana Carballo, Counsellor of Rural Affairs and the Sea for the Xunta de Galicia.
A special presentation was made by Mr. Francois Simard of IUCN, covering 10 years of cooperative work between FEAP and the IUCN. Special sessions allowed the 4 species commissions to discuss specific species-related topics and production profiles. During these sessions, several hot topics were raised which were discussed and developed further in plenary.
Mr. Jan Venneman, Director of EFFAB (European Federation of Farm Animal Breeders) & FABRE ETP gave a presentation on the role of selective breeding in livestock improvement and its application in aquaculture via the new 'FISHBOOST' project (see www.fishboost.eu).
There were also hearings on the work done in 2014-2015 by the Environment & Fish Health Commissions and an update on European Affairs, notably on the development of the Aquaculture Advisory council, the state of the national Strategic Plans for aquaculture and the application of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.
FEAP participates in several EU research projects and each was presented and discussed.
The next meeting of the FEAP will be in Brussels in November 2015, held alongside the annual event ‘Aquaculture in Motion’. Finally, the General Assembly announced that the location for for the 2016 Annual Meeting will be in Poland, hosted by the Polish Trout Breeders Association.