Mitt välkomsttal på Åland Aquaculture week

Publicerat: oktober 9, 2012 i Uncategorized

Dear ladies and gentlemen, my name is Fredrik Karlström and I am the minister of Trade and Industry here on Åland. On behalf of my colleagues and myself I would like to say that we are honoured to welcome you all to the Åland Aquaculture Week.

We are happy to see all the different faces of the aquaculture industry gathered here today, to discuss something that is so important to us all, namely the future of a sustainable aquaculture in the Baltic Sea Region.

Before me now, I see representatives for fishfarmers, fish feed producers, researchers, authorities and other practitioners in the field of aquaculture from the whole Baltic Sea Region. This is a promising platform for a fruitful dialogue on how a lucrative business can go hand in hand with environmental considerations.

We are proud to host the first roundtable discussion, which will take place here tomorrow, on fish feed with its source in Baltic Sea raw materials.

Fish farming is an important sector on Åland, not only because of the decline of the wild fish stocks, but also because it is a primary industry with its base in the archipelago municipalities as opposed to almost the rest of our businesses that are located in the Åland centre of Mariehamn and the main island.
Our municipalities in the archipelago are, as in so many other sparsely populated regions of the world, faced with the issue of jobs and depopulation. The fish farming sector provides a base for employment in this areas, both directly and indirectly.

Our local fish farms produces, healthy and climate friendly food, and stands for 30% of the whole Finnish production. A total of 4,2 million kilos of fish is produced annually here on Åland
The proximity to the sea, the climate and the high demand for fish, makes fish farming as one of the few industries with very good natural conditions in the archipelago, and best of all seen from my point of view, it is almost totally subsidy free.

I really would like the industry to increase and grow but we all know that it must go hand in hand with environmental considerations.

Can mussel farming be one way to a sustainable future?

Mussel farming is very interesting from a business point of view. Is there a profitable use and market for Baltic Sea mussel products, can it be included in Baltic Sea-based fish feed? Those are exciting thoughts and that is why the Åland Government is happy to be part of the Aquabest project.
Åland want to be on the frontline when it comes to advances in the fish and potential mussel farming industry. As might be familiar to most of you, the Åland islands are autonomous with its own legislative competence in a number of fields, such as aquaculture and environment.

This, coupled with a small-scale administration, gives us possibilities, but also responsibilities, to take the right decisions in the interest of all Ålanders. When it comes to the Baltic Sea Region, this responsibility reaches even further.

So on behalf of the branch of trade and industry I wish you a warm welcome to the Åland Aquaculture Week!

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