Sustainable fishing and innovation can improve impacts
This article was featured in EUROFISH Magazine 6 / 2020.
The National Agency for Fisheries and Aquaculture, ANPA, is the body responsible for the management of fisheries and aquaculture in Romania. It develops a national strategy for the sector and the regulations to implement it. The Agency is also responsible for defining and implementing a policy on the conservation of living aquatic resources and for the organisation of the market for wild-caught and farmed products. Mr Marian Lixandru, President of ANPA, discusses here Romania’s plans for the sector regarding climate change, the pandemic, and marine aquaculture.
The carp farming industry in Romania has been going through a minor revolution. As feeds, technology, and management have improved, and ponds have become smaller, yields have risen from one tonne per hectare two decades ago to three tonnes per ha today.
The aquaculture industry in Romania is dominated by the farming of cyprinids in earthen ponds and reservoirs. Around the turn of the century the cultivation of rainbow trout started and production has grown steadily since then. Trout is now perhaps the single most important species farmed in Romania.
Axis 4 of the European Fisheries Fund supports the local development of fisheries communities. Private and public members of a fisheries community join together in a Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) to prepare and implement a local development strategy for the area. The FLAG typically comprises representatives from private industry, local government, NGOs, and civil society. These partnerships help fishing communities in three main ways: by linking them into networks and increasing their influence; by safeguarding jobs and raising incomes; and by creating new job opportunities through the acquisition of new skills, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
The Fish Culture Research and Development Station Nucet was founded in 1941 to contribute to the development of freshwater aquaculture in Romania. The institute has been responsible for the creation of strains of common carp and for the development of rearing technologies for most of the freshwater species that grow in Romania. It has also played a major role in the introduction and acclimatization of new species such as Chinese carps in the 70s as well as pike-perch, pike, and paddlefish.
Fish from the Black Sea is landed at a number of sites along the coast most of them privately owned. The fishermen are mostly coastal fishers using fixed gear which is emptied every day. The fishing season stretches from February or March to September or October depending on the weather. Catches comprise horse mackerel, flounder, Black Sea mackerel, sprats, and anchovies.
The veined rapa whelk (Rapana venosa) is an invasive species of gastropod native to the western Pacific and now widespread in the Black Sea. The animal is carnivorous feeding on other molluscs and is known to be very resilient tolerating a range of temperatures, salinities, oxygen levels and pollution.
The Romanian fisheries and aquaculture sector has seen some interesting and possibly profound developments in the last couple of years. Possibly the most momentous is the new fishing auction in Tulcea, the first of its kind in the country, that is due to start operating later this year.
Romania’s capture fisheries are mainly from freshwater. In the Black Sea catches are nominal with the exception, in the last few years, of veined rapa whelk, captures of which have caused marine capture production to almost equal that from freshwater. However, it is the aquaculture sector that is responsible for the bulk of domestic production. Strategies that will lead to a sustainable increase in output from these two sectors are the province of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, where Ioan Utiu, the State Secretary, has a key role to play.