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EU aquaculture research losing out to China

17 Jan 2013
According to reports, Europe is gradually losing its aquaculture research position. Photo:  Wilhelm Andreas Solheim/Nofima

According to reports, Europe is gradually losing its aquaculture research position. Photo: Wilhelm Andreas Solheim/Nofima

Europe is gradually losing its position as the world’s leading centre of aquaculture research to China and the surrounding Asian countries, says Jean Dhont, secretary of the ASEM Aquaculture Platform, an EU funded research programme promoting EU-Asia cooperation in aquaculture.

According to media reports, Jean Dhont believes that building partnerships with Asia now are critical to avoid the region taking the lead in technology and innovation. China has reportedly leaped ahead of Europe in the area of polyculture but is keen to learn from Western research teams since scientific methodology and discipline is more advanced.

Ms Dhont told seafoodsource.com: “European producers are often frustrated that they find it hard to get access to the Asian market while cheap Asian product is flooding the European market, allegedly because Asian producers are not burdened by the higher quality and socio economic standards of production Europeans need to cope with.”

She added: “Yet demand in Asia is changing as domestic demand for aquatic products rises and ultimately we will be seeking production which won’t be adequate to supply our [EU] demand. Hence it’s vital that we establish partnerships in Asia now, so we can jointly tackle the huge challenges and share opportunities for business activities.”

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According to reports, Europe is gradually losing its aquaculture research position. Photo:  Wilhelm Andreas Solheim/Nofima

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