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  1. Profile
    1. Basic legislation
    2. Legal definition
    3. Guidelines and codes of conduct
    4. International arrangements
  2. Planning
    1. Authorization system
    2. Access to land and water
    3. EIA
  3. Operation
    1. Water and wastewater
    2. Fish movement
    3. Disease control
    4. Drugs
    5. Feed
  4. Food safety
    1. Miscellaneous
      1. References
        1. Legislation
        2. Related resources
      2. Related links
        Profile
        Basic legislation
        Aquaculture projects are strictly regulated by a permit system based on clearances issued by various agencies responsible for spatial planning and environmental protection, health protection, protection of antiquities, commercial fisheries, tourism, recreation, nature conservation and wildlife. The licensing authorities that coordinate the relevant powers of the competent agencies are the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries/Directorate for Aquaculture and Inland Waters and the Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Climate Change.

        The aquaculture sector operates at a central-decentralized & regional administration, as the country’s administrative system is divided into: (i) the central administration (Ministries) (ii) the decentralized administration (seven decentralized administrations) (iii) the regional authorities (13 regions) with 74 regional units and (iv) the local authorities (324 municipalities). The decision makers take also into account the perception of the local population to the project and the relationship of the proposed project to other projects operating in the area. In general the regional differences in policy and licenses are mainly granted on the basis of site-specific (spatial planning and environmental) criteria. From the environmental point of view, Greece has been divided into “sensitive” and “very sensitive” regions; fish farming is usually not permitted in the “very sensitive regions”.
        In the present report, we discuss the legislation concerning site selection and the requirements which must be met for the establishment and operation of intensive and semi-intensive aquaculture sites (ongrowing cage farm units, shellfish farms, land based farms, hatcheries with associated land-based facilities for marine and freshwater species etc.).
        Legal definition
        Council Directive 2006/88/EC, which has been incorporated into the Greek legislative framework with Presidential Order No. 28 of 2009 (article 3) defines aquaculture as: “the rearing or cultivation of aquatic organisms using techniques designed to increase the production of the organisms in question beyond the natural capacity of the environment; the organisms remain the property of a natural or legal person throughout the rearing or culture stage, up to and including harvesting”.
        Guidelines and codes of conduct
        New socio-economic conditions affecting agriculture in Europe and worldwide include the globalization of the agricultural products market, the expansion of the European Union, the development of a new Common Agricultural Policy within the European Union (Agenda 2000), and the increasing demand for quality control of agricultural products.
        In addition, environmental protection measures dictate sustainable management of natural resources and the preservation of biodiversity. The need to encompass all these factors has resulted in a major change from quantitative to qualitative production.
        By virtue of its membership of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Greece subscribes to the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (1995).

        Greek agriculture today is mainly focused on the production of high quality, certified products produced by innovative procedures compatible with sustainable development principles. Improved quality and the resulting increase in value of Greek agricultural products will be achieved through technological innovations resulting from focused, well-coordinated agricultural research.

        In addition to compliance with EU food safety regulation and conformation to the sanitary rules, Greece’s commitment to food safety and quality have led to the certification of Greek Aquaculture products according to National Standards:
        • ISO 14000 (environmental management)
        • ISO 9001:2000 (quality management systems)
        • ISO 22000/HACCP (food Safety)
        The need of a nation formulating safety and quality models widely approved within the sector, requiring special and high-level features, has been the motive for the certification and the encouragement of aquaculture products. The use of a national quality assurance scheme is very important in order to ensure the quality standards met by aquaculture products and to safeguard the products in a competitive market.

        The Agricultural Products Certification and Supervision Organization, under the distinctive title AGROCERT, is a private legal entity operating for the public benefit under the supervision of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food. It is responsible for the implementation of national policy on quality in agriculture.

        The main competences of AGROCERT are the following:
        • Certification of agricultural production systems.
        • Certification of agricultural products.
        • Evaluation, approval and supervision of private control and certification bodies, accredited by the National Accreditation System.
        • Preparation and publication of voluntary sector standards and development of specifications for quality assurance of agricultural products.
        AGROCERT as a national standardization and certification authority in the sector of agricultural products, in cooperation with scientific, research and production bodies of the country, developed the first optional sectorial standards AGRO 4 - 1 and AGRO 4 -2 regarding quality certification of aquaculture products and their enhancement through the award of certificates and the granting of marks.

        AGRO 4 – 1 Production Specification & Product Quality Control
        AGRO 4 – 2 Specification of Packaging Facilities Operation

        The standards AGRO 4 - 1 and AGRO 4 - 2 give fish farming companies the opportunity to develop a management system for quality assurance of fish farming products and enhance their dynamic products, increase their added value and gain consumer confidence in highly competitive markets (AGROCERT).

        There is a Code of Conduct for responsible practices in the Greek Aquaculture sector and a set of self-control documents/forms for Greek Aquaculture establishments issued in 2001, that include all responsible practices in the Greek Aquaculture sector, mention production processes that secure the protection of the environment, security and health of the consumer groups as well as the welfare of bred fish.

        This Code was conducted by the consultants of Greek Fisheries Quality, was controlled by the Commission of Icthyopathology of the Federation of Greek Maricultures and was accredited by the administrative council of the Federation of Greek Maricultures. It was based on the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, the Code of Conduct of Shetland Salmon Farmers Association as well as on the Quality Standards AGRO 4 of AGROCERT.

        Its main scope is to use the principles of all mentioned documents focusing mainly on AGRO 4 Standards of AGROCERT for the training of Greek aquaculturers on the qualifications that lead to the certification of fish produced by aquaculture farms (especially European seabass and gilthead seabream).
        Conformation with this Code which is a basic technical tool to support Greek marine maricultures, and especially the principles introduced by AGROCERT which are the basic reference points of the quality badge, will improve the quality of the product and result in its certification. Moreover, added value of the product will be enhanced; great profit will arise contributing to the improvement of the cooperation with Control Authorities, as well as the trustfulness of the buyers concerning the safety, quality and hygiene of the final product.

        The AGRO 4-1 Production Specification and Product Quality Control and AGRO 4-2 Specification of Packaging Facilities Operation Standards are in the course of being discussed with stakeholders in order to be widely adopted and the implementation procedures be put in action.

        Furthermore, in the context of the acts of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, the Centre for Professional Constitution (ΚΕΚ), the Federation of Greek Maricultures and the Hellenic Union of Technologists-Icthyologists have implemented the following programme: “AQUASAFE – Work Safety and Health risk prevention for aquaculture”. The object of this programme is to provide effective guidelines in order to minimize the risks for the people working in medium enterprises. The scope is to determine the occupational risks rising up in an aquaculture unit, with simultaneous promotion of the viewpoint of a safe and healthy working environment.
        International arrangements
        At an international level

        Greece is a partner to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and Greece is a Member of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
        Greece accessed to the Kyoto Protocol and ratified the Cartegena Protocol on Biosafety.

        At a national level

        i) The federation of Greek Maricultures represents Greek aquaculture enterprises that produce Mediterranean euryhaline fish and especially European seabass and gilthead seabream. It is also a professional union and a member of the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (F.E.A.P). The federation was founded in 1991 and its purpose is to promote the aquaculture sector and its benefits in Greece and abroad.
        It is the official representative of the sector in cases involving Public Services, Agents and Organizations. It takes part in research and educational programmes concerning aquaculture and supports the dissemination of information through its members. The Federation also organizes activities to advertise and promote aquaculture products (Federation of Greek Maricultures).

        ii) The Hellenic Centre for Marine Research was set up as a single institution in order to integrate government-funded marine science research in Greece. Formally established by government decree on 3 June 2003, it combines the former research institutes the National Centre for Marine Research (NCMR) and the Institute of Marine Biology of Crete (IMBC), together with their respective field stations (Hellenic Centre for Marine Research). Its current structure comprises five institutes, which carry out research into specific thematic areas:
        • Institute of Oceanography
        • Institute of Marine Biological Resources
        • Institute of Inland Waters
        • Institute of Aquaculture
        • Institute of Marine Biology and Genetics
        iii) National Agricultural Research Foundation (NAGREF) includes a specialized scientific staff of significant research capacity with modern laboratory and field infrastructure at their disposal. NAGREF supports and coordinates initiatives for development suggested by the Ministry of Rural Development and Food, the agricultural cooperatives, product distributors etc. New scientific knowledge and technical innovations are directed towards creating a dynamic and competitive agriculture which is protective of the environment and capable of providing excellent and inexpensive nutrition for the people. NAGREF strives for constant improvement in competitiveness of Hellenic agricultural products on the international market. (National Agricultural Research Foundation).

        iv) The Fisheries Research Institute (F.R.I) is one of the five specialized research institutes of NAGREF, responsible for conducting research and promoting technology and knowledge in the fishery sector. The Institute is located approximately 17 km away from the city of Kavala, at the centre of an area with rich fishery grounds and high biodiversity in the surrounding coastal areas, lagoons, lakes and rivers. The research activities of F.R.I. cover a wide range of fields in the marine research and applications sector. Four laboratories operate in F.R.I.:
        • Fishery Resources
        • Aquaculture
        • Marine Molecular Biology
        • Marine Ecology
        The F.R.I. participates in many other research programmes (European and national), which constitute the basic source of financing for its research activities (Fisheries Research Institute).
        Planning
        Authorization system
        Sites’ lease and project operation

        The basic legal framework concerning concession, lease and re-lease of sites and project operation consists of:
        • Legislative Decree No. 420/1970 “Fisheries Code”. The first Book of the Code, Part B’ (articles 35 to 71) as amended and in force by law Nos. 1740/1987 “on the development and protection of coral formations, aquaculture and fish breeding areas” and 2040/92 “settlement of issues falling under the competence of the Ministry of Agriculture and other provisions Royal Decree No. 142/1971 on “Fishing of aquatic organisms, fishing into lakes and rivers and adoption of measures for the protection thereof”. Its first article (para. 3), amongst other provisions, requires the issuing of a licence for the establishment of aquatic animal farms. It has been amended by Ministerial Decree No. 332/1983 regarding the devolution of previously referred duties to the corresponding Prefects.
        • Law No. 1845/1989 “Development and utilization of the agriculture research and technology - Protection of Forests and other provisions”. Chapter C, article No. 32, paragraph 7 refers to leasing sites without public sale for a period of ten years.
        • Law No. 3208/2003 “Protection of forest ecosystems, regulation of rights over forests and forester areas and other provisions”. Article 19, paragraph 11 states that all duties concerning leasing marine sites, renewing lease, issuing License for Project Establishment and Operation to aquaculture farms is devolved to the General Secretariat of the respective Region (which is the competent regional authority of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food).
        The legal framework mentioned above has been supplemented over the years, by various ministerial and other services’ interventions, for example Ministerial Decisions, Guidelines, Circulars etc., aiming especially at resolving management problems within the sector, but also meeting the needs of the market. Some of the most important supplements to the legal framework mentioned above are:
        • Ministerial Joint Decision No. 435111/1986 on the supporting documentation to be submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture on matters falling under its competence refers to the lease of aquaculture sites (para. IV).
        • Ministerial Joint Decision No. DIADP/Α1/21619/2001 as amended with Ministerial Joint Decision No. DIAP/Α/4901/2002 on the simplification of procedures used to address administrative issues at the Ministry of Agriculture.
        • Ministerial Decision No. 260727/24-8-1994 “Issuing of licenses for the operation of aquaculture farms” is an important part of the Greek legislation concerning the aquaculture sector, as it opposes the restriction of leasing marine sites after the date of its release, as a measure to restrain overload fish (especially European seabass and gilthead seabream) production deriving from aquaculture farms operating throughout the country.
        • Ministerial Decision No. 258169/4-10-2000 “Suspension of marine areas leasing and aquaculture licensing for the farming of new marine species” prohibits issuing new Licenses of Establishment and Operation for the farming of other euryhaline Mediterranean species.
        • Ministerial Decision No. 143607/2-10-2003 “Leasing of marine sites and issuing License of Project Establishment and Operation for the breeding of the species: Thunnus thynnus (Atlantic bluefin tuna), Seriola spp. (amberjacks nei), Epinephelus spp. (groupers nei), Umbrina cirrosa (shi drum), Solea solea (common sole), Psetta maxima (turbot)” excludes from the previously mentioned Ministerial Decision, the leasing of marine sites for the breeding of the species referred to above.
        • Ministerial Circular No. 140494/12-2-2004 “Procedures and justifying documents for the leasing of marine sites, the Licensing of Establishment and Operation of aquaculture farms and the leasing of public vivariums” summarizes the procedures that needs to be followed and the documents required to be submitted.
        Leasing of shellfish farming sites

        Secondly, the procedures of leasing marine sites for shellfish farming are the same as those described for fish farms, besides that no site can be leased outside Shellfish Farming Zones as it has been determined by Presidential Decree No. 79/2007. According to the provisions of this Decree (article 25 – “Areas-zones of production or relocation of live bivalves”), special zones are determined with the respective Prefect’s decision, as suitable for production or relocation of bivalves ongrowing farms, after having obtained the approval of the Prefectural Veterinary Authority and the local Port Authorities.

        Projects on the seashore and the coastal zone

        Moreover, the basic legal framework governing the establishment and operation of projects on the seashore and the coastal zone contains the following:
        • Law No. 2971/2001 “Seashore, coastal zone and other provisions” provides information about seashore and coastal zone ownership and defines the procedure for determining the borders and protecting the seashore and the coastal zone.
        • Ministerial Decision 109313/5914/130/2004 “Evaluation of facilities and installations which exist on the seashore and the coastal zone”.
        Access to land and water
        The legal framework governing the installation of land-based facilities built to maintain and support marine aquaculture farms is made of, amongst others:
        • Law No. 3325/2005 “Licensing and operation of industrial and handicraft establishments in a sustainable development context and other provisions”. This Law applies to both hatcheries and processing facilities and refers to the License issued by the Directorate of Development of the respective Prefecture.
        • Presidential Decree No. 79/3-5-2007 embodies Regulations No. 853/2004 (EC) “on the hygiene of foodstuffs” and 852/2004 “ laying down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin” into the national legislation. According to this Decree, a License for Project Establishment and Operation is needed from the Veterinary Service of the Prefecture specifically for processing facilities. The provision of licensing needed for the establishment and operation of land-based projects presupposes full commitment to the terms specified in the Decree.
        Then, special legislation exists concerning water use permits for aquaculture activities.
        Presidential Decree No. 51/2-3-2007: “Establishment of measures and procedures for the integrated management and protection of water sources, in compliance with Directive No. 2000/60/EC establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy” embodies all the terms referred to in the afore-mentioned Directive, into the national legal framework related to water policy. It also contains a thorough appendix for the classification of water sources and the parameters of water quality control. For the definition of the structure of the Directorate of Aquaculture in Inland Brackish and Freshwaters, Ministerial Decision No. 47630/16-11-2005 has been issued, while Ministerial Joint Decision No. 43504/5-12-2005 “Categories of Water Use Permits and drill permits, issuing procedure, content and duration” defines all the necessary documentation needed to obtain a Water Use Permit for all aquaculture projects, including land-based projects. The competent authority for issuing the Water Use Permit is the Regional Directorate of Waters.

        In general, a potential fish or shellfish farmer must obtain a site lease from the competent authorities. Applicants are required to submit an application to the Greek Ministry of Rural Development and Food Authorities and according to Ministerial Decisions No. 69269/5387/25-10-1990 and No. 11014/700/Φ104/14-3-2003 to the Direction of Physical Planning of the Region, or the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works, if the project is located in a “sensitive” area and consequently protected by special legislation (e.g. NATURA 2000 sites, sites protected by Ramsar convention).

        For marine farm projects, when the applicant submits the application to the competent regional authority of the Greek Ministry of Rural Development and Food, he/she should accompany the application by:
        • Brief technical report.
        • Site map.
        • Marine chart showing structure location and size-to-scale.
        When the applicant submits the application to the competent regional authority of the Greek Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works, he/she should accompany the application by:
        • Preliminary environmental assessment and evaluation.
        • Site map.
        • Marine charts showing structure location and size-to-scale.
        • Completed questionnaire on estimated environmental impacts.
        In any case, the agencies consulted by the competent authority are the:
        • Greek General Naval Staff (National Ministry of Defence).
        • Port authority (Ministry of Mercantile Marine).
        • Prefectural Service of the Ministry of Health Welfare and Social Security.
        • Prefectural authority fisheries department.
        • Greek National Tourist Organization.
        • Department of Underwater Antiquities.
        • Local Communities (e.g. corresponding municipality).
        If the application receives a positive response, the decision for site lease is issued by the region.

        For freshwater farm projects, the authorities to whom the application should be submitted are identical to the above mentioned (Greek Ministry of Rural Development and Food or Greek Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works). In this case, the agencies consulted by the competent authority are the:
        • Prefectural Service of the Ministry of Health Welfare and Social Security.
        • Prefectural authority fisheries department.
        • Department of Underwater Antiquities.
        • Local Communities (e.g. corresponding municipality).
        For land-based projects, when the site is not protected by special legislation, the application should be sent to:
        • The Regional Land Service, if the land is of public use.
        • The Ministry of Rural Development and Food, if the site is a communal settlement or a forest.
        • The Regional authority of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food.
        In that case, the application should be accompanied by:
        • Brief Technoeconomical report.
        • Site map.
        • Topographical map approved by the Department of Urban Planning.
        • Ground plan including equipment used.
        When the applicant submits the application to the competent regional authority of the Greek Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works when the site is protected by special legislation, he/she should accompany the application by:
        • Preliminary environmental assessment and evaluation.
        • Site map.
        • Topographical map approved by the Department of Urban Planning.
        • Ground plan including equipment used.
        • Completed questionnaire on estimated environmental impacts.
        In any case, the agencies consulted by the competent authority are the:
        • Prefectural Service of the Ministry of Health Welfare and Social Security.
        • Greek National Tourist Organization.
        • Department of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities.
        • Local Communities (e.g. corresponding municipality).
        • Directorate of Waters, Ministry of Rural Development and Food.
        If the application receives a positive response, the decision for site lease is issued by the corresponding agency.

        The current consultative system on new aquaculture project development as operated by the Ministry of Rural Development and Food ensures that the competent agencies make their views known to the Ministry decision makers with regard to individual lease applications. This consultative procedure has been in operation since the initial development of aquaculture in Greece and has been supplemented regularly over the years. The Ministry of Rural Development and Food administers on granting the lease as applied for, modifications thereof or refusal of the lease if the objections cannot be overcome through modifications.
        Sites are usually leased for a ten-year period and farmers usually pay a flat rent ranging from 0.1€/m2/year for land leases and 0.15 €/m2/year for marine leases (average values), although the prices are adaptable after the first 3-4 years of rent. Establishment of a project is required to be within three years of the granting of the lease (Argyrou & Stergiou, 1993; NAYS ltd record data).
        EIA
        The environmental set of regulations governing the aquaculture sector and its supporting facilities consist mainly of:
        • Law No. 1650/1986 for the Protection of the Environment.
        • Ministerial Joint Decision No. 69269/5387 on the classification of projects into categories, contents of Environmental Impact Assessment Studies, determination of the content of Specific Environmental Assessments and other related , in compliance with Law No. 1650/1986.
        • Law No. 3010/2002 “harmonization of Law No. 1650/1986 with the Directives 97/11/EC and 96/61/EC, procedure of delimitation and regulation of matters regarding water streams and other provisions”.

          Articles no. 18 and 19 of Law No. 1650/1986 establish types, characteristics and the procedure for the declaration of protected sites. Ministerial Decisions No. 414985/1985 and No. 33318/3028/1998 which were issued to conform the national legislation with the Directives 79/409/EC on the “Conservation of wild birds” and 92/43/EC on the “Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora”, together with the above Law, constitute the basic legal framework for the determination of protected natural sites in Greece. Areas included in the Directive 92/43/EC are suggested as “Sites of Community Importance (SCI)” while areas included in the Directive 79/409/EC are suggested as “Special Protection Areas (SPA)”. Until 2005, Greece had already composed a list of more than 350 sites that have been declared as “protected sites” and are candidates of the NATURA 2000 network.
        • Ministerial Decision No. H.P. 15393/2332/5-8-2002 “Classification of public and private works into categories according to article 3 of Law No. 1650/1986 as it was replaced by article 1 of Law No. 3010/2002” constitutes the legal procedure of classifying projects according to their environmental impacts and of issuing Environmental Terms for their operation.
        • Ministerial Decision No. H.P. 11014/703/Φ104/14-3-2003 “Procedure prior to issuing Preliminary Environmental Assessment and Evaluation and Approval of Environmental Terms, according to article 4 of Law No. 1650/1986 as replaced by article 2 of Law No. 3010/2002”.
        Due to the rapid growth rate of the aquaculture sector in Greece over the past 20 years, another result aroused: the competition for space between the developing industry and the traditional use of the coastal zone. Therefore, further sector development needs spatial and environmental integration of aquaculture, as well as for the formulation of a planning framework in the context of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM).

        The legislative framework for spatial planning in Greece is Law 2742/1999 ‘Spatial Planning, Sustainable development and other provisions’. With regard to aquaculture, article 10 of this law requires the establishment of ‘Areas of Organized Development of Aquaculture Activities’, known as ‘POAY’ (acronym of the respective Greek terminology). Taking into account the provisions of the law, the Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Climate Change developed the ‘Strategic Plan for aquaculture’ in the year 2000, which proposed broader areas for development at a nationwide scale. According to the specifications and requirements of the Ministerial Decree No 17239/2002, studies for the definition of ‘POAY’ were conducted in various regions to identify areas for the development of aquaculture. These studies currently are in the stage of public consultation for their final implementation.

        The development of ‘POAY’ has important benefits, both at a socio-economic and an environmental-management level. The spatial integration of aquaculture activities within ‘POAY’ guarantees their harmonious integration in the coastal zone and minimizes land-use conflicts. It also enables the vertical integration of productive activities, the reduction and mitigation of environmental impacts by taking appropriate measures (e.g. monitoring of the marine environment, R&D, fallowing etc), the support of innovative entrepreneurship and the promotion of local production.
        The competent authorities for the environmental licensing of sites protected by special legislation (NATURA 2000, Ramsar contract etc.), is the Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Climate Change or otherwise the regional services of the competent Ministry (Directorate of Physical Planning).

        More specifically, according to Ministerial Decision No. 69269/5387/25-10-1990 and Ministerial Decision No. 11014/700/Φ104/14-3-2003, an Environmental Impact Assessment must also be submitted for installation and operation approval of an aquaculture project. The Environmental Impact Assessment requirement applies to all aquaculture projects, regardless of size. It serves as a management tool, ensuring that potential problems are foreseen and appropriate mitigatory measures are addressed and incorporated into the design and operation of the project.
        In the case of land-based farms, a waste disposal study for the treatment of effluents before their discharge into receiving waters is needed, which is issued by the Prefectural Authority of the Ministry of Health Welfare and Social Security.
        Operation
        Water and wastewater
        Basic water policy in Greece, applicable on aquaculture projects, consists of Law No. 3199/9-12-2003 “Water protection and management – Conformation with the Directive (EC) No. 2000/60 of 23-10-2000”, which categorizes all types of water sources and defines measures for monitoring and protection, as well as Ministerial Decree No. 51/2-3-2007: “Establishment of measures and procedures for the integrated management and protection of water sources, in compliance with Directive No. 2000/60 of 23-10-2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy”. For the quality of fresh waters needing protection or improvement in order to support fish life, the terms of Directive 2006/44/EC are applied.
        The Ministerial Decision No. OIK. 46399/1352/86 which refers to the quality of waters required for drinking, swimming, and supporting fish and shellfish life, methods of measurement, frequency of sampling and analysis is also valid.
        Sanitary Provision E1B/221/65 determines all the procedures intended for wastewater disposal and to that context Ministerial Decision No. 222916/17-9-1991 was issued in order to clarify the application of the Sanitary Provision terms on marine and land-based aquaculture farms. Ministerial Decree No. 11/21-1-2002 (National Plan of Emergency) refers to the handling of oil or other pollution incidents involving dangerous substances.
        Fish movement
        Fish movement, such as import/export, quarantine requirements, are covered by Council Directive 2006/88/EC on animal health requirements for aquaculture animals and products thereof, and on the prevention and control of certain diseases in aquatic animals. According to para. 17 of the Preamble of the Directive, “in order to improve general animal health and assist in the prevention and control of animal disease through improved traceability, the movement of aquaculture animals should be recorded”.
        Furthermore, in accordance with article 8 of the Directive, Greece “shall ensure that aquaculture production businesses keep a record of all movements of aquaculture animals and products thereof into and out of the farm or mollusc farming area”.
        Disease control
        Law No. 420/1970 (article 17, para. 3) as amended by law No. 1740/1987 (art.3), prescribes sanctions for any person causing deliberately any disease to fish in aquaculture facilities –at least three months imprisonment and a fine.
        To control the spread of diseases, Greek farmers initially used antibiotics. Nowadays they use vaccines to protect farmed fish from diseases. Disease control mechanisms must comply with Council Directive 2006/88/EC on animal health requirements for aquaculture animals and products thereof, and on the prevention and control of certain diseases in aquatic animals. In accordance with article 7 of the Directive, “official controls on aquaculture production businesses and authorized processing establishments shall be carried out by the competent authority [...] The official controls shall at least consist of regular inspections, visits, audits, and where appropriate, sampling, for each aquaculture production business, taking account of the risk the aquaculture production business and authorized processing establishment poses in relation to the contracting and spreading of diseases”.
        In accordance with article 9, Greece “shall ensure that aquaculture production businesses and authorized processing establishments implement good hygiene practice, as relevant for the activity concerned, to prevent the introduction and spreading of diseases”.
        Drugs
        Restrictions on the use of chemicals and veterinary drugs are referred to in Directive 2001/82/EC on the Community code relating to veterinary medicinal products. For instance, article 5 states that “no veterinary medicinal product may be placed on the market of a Member State unless a marketing authorization has been issued by the competent authorities of that Member State”.
        As a principle, “no veterinary medicinal product may be administered to animals unless the marketing authorization has been issued” (article 9).
        Feed
        The national legal framework through Circular No. 218764/20-7-2004 has pointed out some specificities concerning the application of Regulations (EC) No. 804/2003 and 858/2003 and especially on the transferring of living aquaculture products/animals between European countries and the policy of each country-member to protect inland waters from pathogenic agents brought in by the animals, with adequate facilities to receive incoming animals. It also refers to the prevention of diseases possibly transferred along with fishery products being traded between countries. Furthermore, with the Ministerial Decision A2-3354/5-11-2007, some fishery products of up to a certain size are forbidden to enter the market, while Ministerial Decision No. 169717/16-2-2005 sets up the rules of trading for certain fishery products and especially the criteria used to certify their freshness. These ministerial Decisions have been issued to adjust national legislation to the terms suggested by “Regulation (EC) No. 104/2000 on the common organization of the markets in fishery and aquaculture products”, and “Regulation (EC) No. 2065/2001 laying down detailed rules for the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 104/2000, as regards informing consumers about fishery and aquaculture products”.
        Regulation No. 708/2007 concerning use of alien and locally absent species in aquaculture is also applied in Greece.
        Regulation No. 535/2008 lays down the specific detailed rules concerning the Regulation No. 708/2007.
        Regulation (EC) No. 506/2008 defines certain species to which Regulation No. 708/2007 does not apply.

        Restrictions on the use of feed vary according to the type of feed used. As stated in every Environmental Impact Assessment document, fish food has to be used in the form of pellets, so as not to produce dust when dispersed.

        Food safety
        Presidential Decree No. 79/30-5-2007 contains the “necessary supplementary measures for the application of Regulations (EC) No. 178/2002, 852/2004, 853/2004 and 882/2004 concerning specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin, official controls performed to ensure compliance with human consumption, animal health and animal welfare rules and the conformation of the national veterinary legislation with the Directive (EC) 2004/41” (the aforementioned Directive refers to food hygiene and health conditions for the production and placing on the market of certain products of animal origin intended for human consumption).

        - Circular No. 289663/23-12- 2003 was issued by the Veterinary and Public Health Service of the Hellenic Ministry of Rural Development and Food for the “Classification and disposal of animal by-products not intended for human consumption, according to the Regulation (EC) No. 1774/2002”.

        - Circular No. 251996/9-2-2005 “Remote areas and incineration or landfill of animal by-products” was issued by the same Service to determine specific sites in Greece which can be characterized as “remote” and the categories of animal by-products on which the pre-mentioned methods can be applied (in line with the article 24 of the Regulation (E.C.) No. 1774/2002).

        - Circular No. 280741/26-8-2004 was issued by the Veterinary and Public Health Service of the Hellenic Ministry of Rural Development and Food to define the difference between the incineration and the combustion of animal waste, as well as the difference between “landfill” and “sanitary landfill”, in the context of Regulation No. 1774/2002 - appendix I, the Directive (EC) No. 2000/76 “on the incineration of waste” and the SANCO/445/2004 “Guidance Note on the Application of Community Legislation regarding animal and public health and waste, to animal by-products”.

        - Presidential Decree No. 28/ 5-3-2009: the existing aquaculture legislative framework complies with European Union Directives Nos. 2006/88/EC Council and 2008/53/EC. It establishes animal health requirements for aquaculture animals and products thereof and provides for the issuing of a special veterinary authorization for the operation of all production farms of aquaculture animals.

        Greece’s commitment to food safety and quality has led to the certification of Greek Aquaculture products according to National Standards:
        • ISO 14000 (environmental management)
        • ISO 9001:2000 (quality management systems)
        • ISO 22000/HACCP (Food Safety)
        Furthermore, as it has already been mentioned, Presidential Decree No. 79/30-5-2007 which is valid in Greece contains all the necessary measures for the application of Regulations (EC) No. 178/2002, 852/2004, 853/2004 and 882/2004 concerning hygiene rules for food of animal origin, controls performed to ensure the conformation with feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules as well as the Directive (EC) 2004/41 concerning food hygiene and certain products of animal origin intended for human consumption.

        EFET, the Hellenic Food Authority, is responsible for defining quality standards for foodstuffs. It is supervised by the Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity.

        Regarding the establishment of product quality control systems (HACCP) the legislation in Greece covering this issue is Ministerial Joint Decision No. 487/4-10-2000 on the hygiene of foodstuffs and Ministerial Joint Decision No. 052/11-5-2004.
        Miscellaneous
        Funding policies

        The aquaculture sector developed rapidly since 1982 through a generous framework adopted by the European Union as well as the National investment legislation, contributing, among other aspects, to the stabilization of the negative balance in the fisheries products’ market.
        Towards that direction, most of the aquaculture enterprises have been granted funds under E. U. Regulations (No. 2908/1983, No. 4028/1986, No. 3699/1993, No. 2792/1999) and also National legal framework (Developmental Laws No.1262/82, No. 1892/90, No 2601/98 and the latest one No 3299/2004, as it has been modified by Law No. 3522/2006).
        Greek enterprises have made the most of these incentives to create new infrastructures and modernize already existing ones, taking all responsibility for keeping them in operation and reaching production levels as they have been planned, while operating in a stable investing environment.
        Due to the difficult circumstances met on a global level, the aquaculture sector needs to be more supported, especially concerning the competitiveness of the aquaculture units and mainly because the aquaculture sector remains productive on a European level. As a result to that, the sector is more supported on an economical basis during the new programmatic period of the 4th Community Support Framework 2007-2013 under E. U. Regulation No. 1198/2006, according to which the European Fisheries Fund is established.
        This Regulation corresponds to the new strategy concerning the healthy growth of the aquaculture sector, its objectives are to promote:
        • Biological aquaculture.
        • Forms of aquaculture that contribute to the protection and support of the environment, natural resources and traditional characteristics of defined aquaculture zones.
        • Participation in the European system of environmental management and control.
        • Viable, healthy aquaculture practices.v Developing innovative processes and projects.
        • Encouraging investments on the aquaculture sector, leading to the trustfulness of the consumers, as well as environmentally friendly production processes.
        • Organizing events to promote aquaculture products and to expand the markets, for the amelioration of the aquaculture sector status.
        References
        Legislation
        Ministry of Rural Development and Food. 2008. Operational Program for Fisheries Sector 2007-2013.
        Federation of Greek Maricultures. 2006. Unpublished data.
        Argyrou I. N. and K. I. Stergiou. 1992. Aquaculture in Greece: Environmental Legislation and Site Restrictions. Workshop on Fish Farm effluents and their control in EC countries, Hamburg.
        Argyrou I. N. and K. I. Stergiou. 1994. Developmental trends and aquaculture perspectives in Greece. J. Appl. Icthyol. 10: 379-388.
        Argyrou I. N. and E. A. Papaioannou. 2008. Aquaculture in Greece: Sustainable Development in the coastal zone. International Conference & Trade Exhibition 'Aquaculture Europe 2008-Resource Management'. Cracow, Poland.
        Wiley-Praxis Aqualex: a glossary of aquaculture terms. Edited by Margaret Eleftheriou, John Wiley & sons. 1997, p. 26. 7
        Klaoudatos S. D. 2001. Environmental impact assessment of Mediterranean aquaculture farms. Practical experiences in Greece. Cahier Options Mediterrannes Vol 55: 109-127.
        Advancing the Aquaculture Agenda, Workshop proceedings, Chapter 5, OECD, 2010.
        Related resources
        Related links
        Country profiles: Greece
         
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