The vision of OrAqua is economic growth of organic aquaculture in Europe, supported by science based regulations in line with the organic principles and consumer confidence.
OrAqua will suggest improvements for the future regulatory framework for organic aquaculture in Europe based on i) a review of the current organic regulation, ii) increased understanding of organic aquaculture production and economics, as well as iii) ethical considerations and consumer perceptions of organic aquaculture.
The proposal will focus on aquaculture production of relevant species of finfish, molluscs, crustaceans and seaweed. To ensure interaction with all relevant stakeholders throughout the project a multi stakeholder platform will be established. The project will assess and review fish health and welfare, veterinary treatments, nutrition, feeding, seeds (sourcing of juveniles), production systems, including recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS), environmental impacts, socio-economic and aquaculture economic interactions, consumer aspects, legislations and private standards for organic aquaculture.
The results will be communicated using a range of media and techniques tailored to involve all stakeholder groups. Further, Multi Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) and SWOT analysis will be used to generate relevant and robust recommendations. A wide range of actors from several countries will participate and interact through a participatory approach. The 13 OrAqua project partners form a highly qualified and multidisciplinary consortium that includes four universities, five aquaculture research institutes, three research groups in social science, a fish farmer organisation, a fish farmer and two organic certification/control bodies.
The main outcomes of the project will be recommendations on how to improve the EU regulation, executive dossiers and a Policy Implementation Plan (PIP). Further the project will deliver recommendations on how to enhance economic development of the European organic aquaculture sector.