Unanimous support for report on fish farming

23 February 2010

Unanimous support for report on fish farming

The European Parliament Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Security voted unanimously on Tuesday to support the report by SP Euro-MP Kartika Liotard on sustainable farming of fish for consumption.

Animal welfare

Kartika Liotard In her report, Liotard called on the European Commission to produce an ecologically responsible policy on fish farming which would pay more attention to animal welfare. "The Commission must conduct effective research into the way in which farmed fish are killed. It is completely unacceptable that barbaric methods, such as throwing living eels into a salt bath in order to remove the layer of slime on their skins by a process of corrosion, are still permitted. This could and must be done in a way which pays more attention to animal welfare," says Liotard.

Consumer safety

In addition to expressing animal welfare concerns, Liotard's report calls for thorough checks on the quality of farmed fish imported from countries outside the European Union and for inspection of the production facilities in these countries. Such measures are necessary, she believes, in order to guarantee the safety of the consumer. "When it comes to the use of chemicals," she says, "fish farms in for example South East Asia don't pay such close attention to safety, with all the consequences that can have for the European consumer and for the local population. We have strict rules in matters of environmental protection and food safety. Imports from countries outside the EU should have to satisfy these."

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