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For the fourth consecutive year, the French Directorate General of Maritime and Aquaculture Fishing has launched a call for proposals, operated by the French agency FranceAgriMer. Open from April 1 until the end of May, this call for projects’ goal is to encourage the aquaculture industry in France to innovate and is open to businesses, professional organizations, and scientific and technical organizations.

Products of French aquaculture are encountering growing consumer success. Whether it be smoked trout from Brittany or the Pyrenees, organic seabass from Corsica, oysters from Marennes Oléron, or caviar from Aquitaine, the French aquaculture industry is matching quality with terroir. This position assures the industry access to promising markets, in France and elsewhere, and presents opportunities for growth in product volume while respecting the rules in place for protecting the environment. This is the goal given to the industry by public authorities in France and Europe so that aquaculture can contribute to providing a balanced diet to all, create jobs that are not outsourceable, and stimulate rural economies.

Up to now, certain themes were not well developed in previous calls for projects in previous years, like the question of adapting the aquaculture industry to climate change, taking into account animal welfare, or mastering energy consumption. This is one of the priorities this year, thus projects that meet these goals will be particularly valued.

To support industry initiatives, France has made the choice to dedicate a significant portion of the money it receives each year from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund to innovation in the aquaculture industry. The three first calls for projects, done each year starting in 2016, already allowed for more than 40 operations, using nearly 17 million euros in European credits. These grants concern all production, from salmon to marine fish, to shellfish, freshwater species, algae, etc., and deal with a broad array of issues for involved industries, from production methods to genetic selection.