The Aquaculture Advisory Council (AAC) organised a webinar on March 11, 2022 in the presence of Dr Rasmus Nielsen, Chairman of the Economic Working Group for Aquaculture under the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF).

The webinar started by a summary presentation of the STECF 2020 Economic Report of the EU Aquaculture Sector. This report includes an interesting overview on the EU aquaculture sector numbers (15.000 entreprises, 80% of which are micro-enterprises employing less than 10 people, production by species and value…). It also provides interesting insight about different sectors and countries.

However, some shortcomings appeared concerning to the webinar participants:

  • the lack of aquaculture experts in the STECF;
  • the lack of recent data available, despite the important amount of data requested by the administrations to the aquaculture producers;
  • the little time allocated for the experts to deal with the data gathered. A two-steps work is needed, first putting data together and then analysing it; and
  • the need to strengthen forecasting and analysis models (importance of stock assessments).

The AAC Working Group on Horizontal Matters’ Chair decided to create a dedicated Focus Group to prepare recommendations to the European Commission and Member States on how to improve data collection and analysis at the EU level.