Aquaculture: A different approach to agriculture in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany

At the business forum "Aquaculture in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern – Agriculture in water", around 60 participants learned about the opportunities and risks of investing in aquaculture projects in the German state.

The aquaculture sector is the fastest growing food industry in the world. According to the FAO, more than half of the fish currently produced worldwide originates from aquaculture. In Germany, however, aquaculture production has declined by about 54% over the past 25 years. Nevertheless, modern technologies also bring new opportunities to Germany. In 2016, the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern developed a strategic plan for expanding the aquaculture sector, hoping to take on a pioneering role in Germany.

The business forum "Aquaculture in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern - Agriculture in Water", was held on 16 April 2018 at the venue of the agriculture museum AGRONEUM in the town Alt Schwerin. It specifically targeted current as well as potential farmers, fishermen and aquaculture operators. Less successful stories from the past were used to illustrate which mistakes to avoid and what made existing aquaculture farms successful. Regional producers of prawns (Garnelen Farm Grevesmühlen) and of the African catfish, which has recently gained regional popularity, (PAL Aquakultur und Sukower Bioenergie und Welsfarm), talked about starting up, experiences and hopes for the future.

Before the forum, participants had the opportunity to visit the economically competitive pike-perch production test facility at the State Research Institute in Hohen Wangelin. This plant specialises in the breeding of pike-perch seedlings and implements a number of research projects.

The event was followed by a small buffet, including catfish from regional recirculating aquaculture systems and provided the perfect opportunity for networking and first requests were raised for future activities of this kind.

The business forum was organized by BioCon Valley® GmbH, the EU project "InnoAquaTech", the Association of Economic Development Corporation Vorpommern (WFG Vorpommern), the Association for Economic Development, Mecklenburg Seenplatte (Wirtschaftsförderung Mecklenburgische Seenplatte) and the farmer’s association Nordvorpommern (Bauernverband Nordvorpommern).

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