FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Towards sustainable inland fisheries and aquaculture in Europe

Following an intense week with a symposium in which 105 scientists participated and a session with 15 Member countries, the European Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture Advisory Commission (EIFAAC)adopted for the first time resolutions and recommendations on inland fisheries and aquaculture.

These included four resolutions on the Code of Conduct for Recreational Fisheries and Invasive Alien Species, the protection of vulnerable and endangered fish species from unsustainable predation from cormorants, small-scale fisheries, and aquaculture, as well as a recommendation on the EIFAAC Code of Practice for Recreational Fisheries.

The Thirty-first Session of the Commission was preceded by the EIFAAC International Symposium on “Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture – Advances in technology, stock assessment, and citizen science in an era of climate change,” held from 20–21 June in Killarney, Ireland. The highly attended symposium gathered participants from 14 countries to discuss the current issues of inland fish stock assessment, freshwater fish monitoring technologies, climate change and its impacts on inland aquatic resources and fisheries, citizen science, and recirculation aquaculture systems.

Aside from the adopted resolutions and recommendations, the EIFAAC session reviewed the results achieved by the Commission since the last session in 2019 and endorsed the updated rules of procedure, the work programme for 2022–2024, and the conclusions and recommendations originating from the symposium. The symposium and the session, which concluded on 24 June, were hosted by Inland Fisheries Ireland and Irish Department of Environment, Climate and Communications.

Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, and Transport of Ireland, Eamon Ryan TD, visited the Session and expressed appreciation for the work of the Commission. He pointed out the important tasks ahead, including climate change and the challenges to improve water quality and conserve aquatic biodiversity. Ryan emphasized that we have to “change our connection with nature” and also need a green evolution in inland fisheries and aquaculture.

Nabil Gangi, FAO’s Deputy Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia, thanked the Government of Ireland for having hosted three EIFAAC sessions already (in 1960, 1996, and 2022) and for the country’s ongoing commitment to collaborate and partner in the European region.

The Thirty-first Session of the Commission was chaired by Petri Heinimaa from Finland, who was re-elected in his position and will continue to lead the Commission in the coming years. He was supported by the new FAO Secretary to EIFAAC, Raymon van Anrooy, who was appointed on 1 May 2022, as well as the CACFish Secretary, Haydar Fersoy.

1 July 2022, Killarney, Ireland