In 2005, the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) adopted the National Technical Programme for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Aquatic Genetic Resources (AqGR). The Technical Programme is the basis for the long-term conservation and use, research and development of aquatic genetic resources in Germany.
Germany has a large number of aquatic genetic resources (AqGR) that are used, for example, in sea, inland and angling fisheries and in aquaculture. Quite a number of these AqGR are endangered at species and/or population level due to a variety of threat factors.
Against this background, the National Technical Programme has the following objectives:
- To conserve the diversity of aquatic genetic resources in situ and ex situ in a scientifically sound and cost-effective manner over the long term, to make them accessible and usable through appropriate measures such as evaluation, characterisation and documentation, and to increase their economic use, particularly in aquaculture;
- Promote the reintroduction of fish species formerly found in certain waters;
- Contribute to the conservation and restoration of aquatic ecosystems;
- Support all activities for the conservation and sustainable use of aquatic genetic resources;
- to bring greater transparency to the division of responsibilities and powers between federal, state and and local authorities, as well as persons, organisations and institutions active in this field;
- to exploit and promote synergies that may result from enhanced cooperation at national, supranational, regional and international levels.
The implementation of the National Programme is supported by the Information and Coordination Centre for Biological Diversity (IBV) of the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE), which provides various documentation, information, advisory and coordination services.