The Aquaculture Advisory Council Working Group on Horizontal Issues seeks a consultant to examine the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the EU aquaculture sector.

The submission will be used as a guide for the Aquaculture Advisory Council Working Group on Horizontal Issues to develop recommendations for approval by the Executive Committee to be submitted to the EU Member States and the European Commission.

The work will be led by the external consultant reporting directly to the ‘Covid-19 Focal Group’, a sub-group composed of the Working Group members that are particularly interested in this issue. An experienced person with a multi-disciplinary background is preferred, ideally someone who has experience with data collection on aquaculture and has insight in EU aquaculture. 



The COVID-19 pandemic has and is impacting the EU aquaculture sector. Market players targeting the hotel, restaurant, and catering (HoReCa) segment appears to suffer the most. With loss of export opportunities and no demand from the HoReCa segment products have been sold in the EU market at lower prices. 

The Commission has launched (March 2020) support measures to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes a temporary state aid framework and the use of EMFF funding to support fisheries and aquaculture. In addition, members states have introduced various national support schemes.

The ‘farm to fork’ strategy includes the development of a contingency plan to ensure the EU’s food supply and food security in the event of future crises and the Commission plans to develop a set of procedures to be followed in times of crisis including a crisis response mechanism.


Objectives and output

This study will examine:

a. Impact on intra and extra EU trade

This analysis will include the top-6 species farmed in the EU e.g., salmon, rainbow trout, mussels, seabass, seabream, and carp. Selected feed ingredients will also be included.

The AAC and the consultant will draft a list of relevant CN codes to be included. The use of supplementary data for mussels from customs authorities will be examined. The consultant will on this basis examine trade in volume and value using data from Eurostat/EUMOFA from 2015 to the latest Eurostat update. The output will give insight on potential impact on trade and market dynamics from the covid-19 pandemic.

The methodology will be the same as in ‘The EU fish market’ 2020 edition from EUMOFA.


b. Use of EMFF funding or other forms of state aid

The consultant will contact national authorities in France, Poland, Greece and Denmark and regional authorities in Spain to analyse if and to what extend EMFF or national funding have been used to mitigate the negative impact of the covid-19 pandemic on aquaculture farms.


c. Impact on aquaculture farmers

The AAC and the consultant will draft an on-line questionnaire targeted at EU farmers and processors. Members of the AAC will help promote the survey. The questionnaire will also try to identify specific actions taken by market players to remedy the impact   

The findings will be presented in a short report that will summarise the most important conclusions and optionally propose AAC recommendations to the Commission and/or member states.


Deliverables and timeline

March - April 2021: Call for candidates. The Focal Group and the secretariat will select a candidate to be approved by WG-3 and the Executive Committee.         

May - June 2021: Consultant gathers information, analyse data and attends the June Working Group meeting. 

July 2021: Draft report sent to Focal Group and approved by WG-3

August 2021: Final report approved by the Executive Committee.

September 2021: Possible recommendations send to Commission and/or Member States.



The budget for the external consultant is EUR 6.000 including VAT.


If interested, please send your CV in English to the AAC Secretariat by the 31 March 2021: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.