Bruno Guillaumie, deputy Secretary General of the French National Shellfish Committee (CNC) and secretary general of the European Mollusc producers’ association (EMPA) presented the concept of Euroshell project since its origin. In 2008 scientist and stakeholders gathered around the then huge problem of oyster mortality. Contextually, DG research launched an initiative on this subject. In 2011, to fulfil the need to link shellfish workers with scientists, the BIVALIFE project was launched, in order to integrate research programs with shellfish producers’ needs. Subsequently, the Commission launched a call for tender to tackle the link between science and professional shellfish workers, and the Euroshell project was selected in February 2012. In September 2012 the contract was signed and in October the project was launched. The first stakeholder meeting a month later validated the roadmap and the approach and regional workshops in 5 different countries were organised in order to gather feedback from regional and local producers and other stakeholders. . With the objective of bridging the gap between science and producers, a link to different European policies was established: the EU aquaculture strategy of 2009, EFF priority axis 4 (FLAGs, 2007-2013), EATIP (European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform) initiative (project AQUAINNOVA, 2010-2012). Euroshell drafted a vision for the shellfish sector in Europe, developing a strategy and a research agenda. The partnership is based on the European Mollusc Producers Association (EMPA), with connections with every partner countries (France, UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Italy and Spain). A total of almost 8000 SMEs in different member states have been involved through national Mollusc Producers Associations. The main objective of the project is to better integrate knowledge, connecting the need of the producers to research carried out at the European level. Therefore the project aimed at assessing what kind of implementation and tools were needed to develop a network to transfer knowledge. Some organisations like universities and research centres played a role of support. Mr Guillaumie finally expressed his hope that the recommendations to implement shellfish extension will be recognised and adopted, noting that the recommendations were not built on creating new structures, but more on strengthening existing ones.
The full report will coming soon.