In accordance with its mandate, which is laid down in the Agreement for the Establishment of the International Organisation, Eurofish contributes to the development of fisheries and aquaculture in Central and Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean and Balkan regions. Eurofish contributes to the development of fisheries and aquaculture by publishing marketing and industry related information in the Eurofish Magazine and its website, and on the organisation’s website, as well as by organising conferences, workshops, seminars, business-to-business meetings and by implementing a variety of projects in the fields of post-harvest fisheries, aquaculture, processing, and trade and marketing. Eurofish has in-depth knowledge about the fisheries and aquaculture sector in Europe and neighbouring countries, and an extensive network in the region.
The key objectives of Eurofish are to:
- Contribute to the sustainable development of the fisheries and aquaculture sector;
- Promote trade of high quality, value-added fishery products;
- Facilitate the transfer of information and knowledge
Part of the FISH INFOnetwork
Eurofish is part of a global network - the FISH INFOnetwork (FIN). The network is coordinated by FAO GLOBEFISH in Rome and the members of FIN are: INFOFISH (Asia and the Pacific), INFOPECHE (West Africa), INFOSAMAK (Arab countries), INFOPESCA (Latin America) and INFOYOU (China). The FISH INFOnetwork provides the respective regions with updated information on the fisheries and aquaculture sector.
History of Eurofish
It was originally launched in 1996 as the EASTFISH project of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. A Conference of Plenipotentiaries was held in Copenhagen, Denmark on 23 May 2000, when the Agreement on establishing the International Organisation for the Development of Fisheries in Eastern and Central Europe (EUROFISH) was adopted.
In 2002 Eurofish was established as an internationsl organisation when five founding countries – Denmark, Albania, Latvia, Norway and Romania signed the Agreement or deposited an instrument of ratification or accession with the Depositary of the Agreement – Director-General of FAO. The Agreement was registered with the Secretariat of the United Nations on 15 May 2002.
The Eurofish headquarter is located in Copenhagen, following a host agreement with the Kingdom of Denmark.
Eurofish is governed by a Council composed of all member countries. Each member country is represented by one delegate who may be assisted by technical experts. The Governing Council holds its regular sessions annually and elects its Chairperson for two consecutive sessions. Chairperson of the Governing Council for 2016 and 2017 is Albania, represented by Ms Lauresha Grezda, Director - European Integration & Projects Department (SPO), Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development & Water Administration.
The fisheries and aquaculture sector is taking a leading role in meeting the world’s ever increasing demand for animal protein. At the same time, it faces challenges and opportunities to meet the growing demand for diverse seafood products on domestic and export markets and to develop competitive advantages in a sector dealing with one of the most globally traded food commodities. Producers are being called upon to develop sustainable practices, while meeting their own commercial goals.
EU expansion has created a geographical region so large that there is a need for institutions with a specific focus to facilitate the information and decision-making processes. Eurofish is such a specialized regional organisation with in-depth knowledge of the fisheries and aquaculture sector and an extensive network in the region and beyond. With these assets Eurofish is an effective and capable partner that can assist its members and others to achieve their objectives.
Eurofish assists governments and industry in its member countries and more widely in Europe to develop production and trade in a sustainable and environmentally sound manner and to explore new business opportunities.
Eurofish provides services within the following key areas:
- Dissemination of information;
- Promotion and awareness raising;
- Project management.
Dissemination of information
Eurofish has a leading role in providing and disseminating information for and about the fisheries and aquaculture sector in Europe, and is the only regular English language provider of information on fisheries and aquaculture in Central and Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean and Balkan countries.
Eurofish publishes printed and electronic publications either on a regular basis or occasionally as individual specialised publications. Eurofish promotes its member countries and their industries through Eurofish Magazine, the Eurofish website and the Eurofish Magazine website.
Focusing on facilitating trade in fishery and aquaculture products, Eurofish supports the presence of companies from Eurofish member countries at international food and seafood exhibitions, and trade fairs. The Eurofish Magazine and the websites serve as the main channels to create awareness of the member countries and their fisheries and aquaculture sectors.
Eurofish project activities cover fisheries, aquaculture, trade and marketing, seafood safety and quality assurance, and dissemination of information. The organisation carries out market and sector studies and surveys, various evaluations, organizes conferences, workshops, seminars and business-to-business meetings. Eurofish also assists national authorities in the preparation of project applications. Projects depend on the successful acquisition of external funding and target both the national public administration and private sector.