FEAP is currently composed of 27 National Fish Farming and/or Aquaculture Associations from 22 European States. Associations can only be a member of FEAP if they are recognised as the lead representative association by their national government, which assures that FEAP is and remains truly representative of European professional aquaculture.
This Membership structure gives FEAP a unique position to be informed on the state and characteristics of European fish farming. The FEAP’s members represent 18 of the 25 EU Member States while additional Members include Norway, Croatia, Iceland and the Faeroe Islands. The core activity of the FEAP is to provide a forum for its Member Associations in order to generate common opinions on matters affecting the sector. This is achieved by the organisation of at least 2 meetings of the Federation each year. These are complemented by additional meetings that prepare the positions of the profession for the European Commission’s Advisory Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture.In addition, the FEAP has liaison status as an International Non-Governmental Organisation with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and participates in many different meetings organized by the FAO, notably those of EIFAC (European Inland Fisheries Advisory Council), the Aquaculture Committee of the GFCM (General Fisheries Council of the Mediterranean) and the Sub-Committee on Aquaculture of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI).
The FEAP Secretariat acts as a 2-way fulcrum for communication and dissemination to and from its Member Associations, allowing it to provide up-to-date information on many aspects of European aquaculture. In addition, the FEAP manages 2 websites, one devoted to FEAP activities (www.feap.info) and one for public communication – Aqua media (www.aquamedia.org ), both of which are used for electronic communication activities.The FEAP has considerable experience of working on European projects, primarily for dissemination and networking activities, and is a Management Partner of Aqua flow (www.aquaflow.org – dissemination of European RTD projects). During 2003-4, the FEAP managed the PROFET workshops (a focus on identifying RTD priorities and direction – see www.aquamedia.org ) and Aqua tour (www.aquatour.info ), a web-based Virtual Tour of Fish Farming).
It has also been closely involved with PISCES (www.piscestt.com) and ORION (www.orionnet.info – a Virtual Learning Environment), the latter projects being initiatives under the Leonardo da Vinci Programme.The FEAP has a central role in coordinating the common actions of its member IAGs and in the communication of information to the European Industry including Best Practice Guidelines.
The FEAP Code of Conduct for European Aquaculture remains a strong demonstration of its capacity to support policy developments. The Federation maintains excellent links to the producers, researchers, policy makers and market suppliers and is key coordinator of meetings and training events at the European level. In addition, through its strong web presence, infrastructure (e.g. the Aquamedia structure) and well-developed networks, it is able to disseminate project results, quickly and efficiently, for both short and long term objectives.