About 140 participants, representatives of governments and international organizations, delegates, experts and professionals from Mediterranean and Black Sea countries (Albania, Algeria, Croatia, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Montenegro, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine) met in Bari, Italy, on 11 December 2014, to discuss about the future of aquaculture in the region in light of Blue Growth and food security issues. The Regional Conference on “Blue Growth in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea: developing sustainable aquaculture for food security” was organized by the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, together with the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and in cooperation with the European Commission and the Italian Ministry of Agricultural Food and Forestry Policies (MiPAAF).
Aquaculture has strong potential to provide solutions for food security and to ensure sustainable growth in the region and, as such, it is a key component of the FAO Blue Growth Initiative. “The question is not if aquaculture can be food for the future, it has to be. There are very bright prospects for the region since aquaculture in the Mediterranean is at a very advanced stage’’ said Árni M. Mathiesen, Assistant Director-General of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department of FAO.