In Athens, oceanographic experts from 18 Mediterranean countries met on Tuesday (14 March) to examine ways of boosting the production of sea-food in the region.
In Athens, oceanographic experts from 18 Mediterranean countries met on Tuesday (14 March) to examine ways of boosting the production of sea-food in the region. The meeting was organised jointly by the Greek Government and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation.
SYNOPSIS: Delegates met at the National Researches Foundation Building in the Greek capital. They were welcomed by the President of the Oceanographic Institute in Greece, Mr. Kiortsis, who went on to underline the importance of boosting the scale of sea-farming in the Mediterranean. Presently, fishing operations along Mediterranean coastlines provide only one third of the sea-food demand for the region. The aim of the Athens meeting was to formulate ways of stepping up sea-food production, to make Mediterranean countries less dependent on imported supplies. Another important potential source of sea-food currently being investigated is the culture of oysters and mussels.
United Nations environmentalists have been showing increasing interest in the Mediterranean, with particular emphasis on countering the problems of pollution build-up.
Delegates to the Athens conference have also been involved in pollution studies in their efforts to increase sea-food production. Estimates currently put the 1985 Mediterranean sea-food demand at 5.5 million tonnes. The experts are emphasising the urgent need to push up production, which in 1974, the last year for which statistics were available, was only 750,000 tonnes. This will have to be increased dramatically.
One of the United Nations Environment Programme officials, Mr Stephan Keskes addressed the meeting on the problems of intensifying fish-farming. These include the heavy investment involved in fish-farming, its generally low profitability, and the far-reaching consequences of large-scale farming on the lives of hundreds of thousands of fishermen.
Experts from 18 Mediterranean coastal countries met today in Athens at the National Researches Foundation building to examine the potential of fish-farming as a way of facing the rapid rise in demand of sea-food. The meeting is organized by the Greek Government and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
The importance of the meeting is underlined by the fact that only about one third of sea-food consumed in the region actually comes from the Mediterranean sea. The bulk comes from imports or is caught by ocean-going fishing fleets. And according to reliable sources demand is already was ahead of supply and the situation gets worse.
In 1974 and 1975 and 1976 available statistics say that only 750.000 tons of fish were caught in the Mediterranean, while, it is estimated that by 1985 the regional demand will be 5,5 million tons. Also, it is reported that the culture of oysters and mussels could be a vital source of protein in the future.
The most important task before the experts from most State was to formulate a cooperative program. And the main problems facing them are the heavy investment involved in fish-farming, the fact that generally it has not proved profitable and, finally, the impact of large-scale farming on the lives of hundreds of thousands of fishermen.