Research and innovation are central elements in the Europe 2020 Strategy and it is recognised that bioeconomy is an important element of the Strategy. DG RTD has issued a European Strategy “Innovating for sustainable growth: a bioeconomy for Europe” paving the way to a more innovative, resource efficient and competitive society that reconciles food security with the sustainable use of renewable resources, while ensuring environmental protection. COFASP will directly address actions envisaged within fisheries, aquaculture and seafood: 1) to enhance scientific knowledge and innovation reinforcing advice on fisheries management supporting decision making and strengthening an ecosystem-based fisheries management as central principle of the revised Common Fisheries Policy; 2) to implement the EU Strategy for the Sustainable Development of Aquaculture through development of strategic guidelines and implementation of national strategic aquaculture plans; and 3) to promote consumption of safe, nutritious and healthy European seafood and ensure traceability of seafood from net and cage to plate.
Based on the earlier ERA-NET MariFish and the running ERA-NET SEAS-ERA, focusing on capture fisheries, aquaculture and seafood processing including distribution to consumers the objectives of COFASP are:
1. To lay the basis for exploitation according to the precautionary principles and to enhance innovation in and competitiveness of the primary sectors fisheries and aquaculture as well as subsequent seafood processing and distribution to the consumer
2. To define the science, information and data necessary to underpin the revision of the CFP and to ensure its successful implementation by designing complementary national research programmes and outlining monitoring and information/data sharing systems needed.