While the new EU regulation on Data Collection will provide EU decision makers with a sufficient scope of data for more informed policy making, it also hides a few paradoxes.

Björn Stockhausen, Seas At Risk Fisheries Policy Officer said: “How is it possible that EU aquaculture is branded as sustainable with no mandatory data collection on the environmental impact of freshwater aquaculture? The mandatory data collection is crucial to evaluate the sustainability of this activity. Furthermore, the data collection linked to this regulation will be paid by taxpayers, so why do citizens have to pay again to have access to this data? Both accessibility and transparency of data are fundamental to empower interested citizens. Adding administrative layers and fees will hinder the usage and limit the success of this useful data collection purpose.”

The Fishery Committee today adopted the political agreement on the Data Collection Framework regulation agreed between Parliament and Council in December 2016. This regulation will provide a new basis for the coming years on what data is required to be collected and support the decision making process on fisheries and aquaculture policies. The decision is expected to be rubberstamped in the next plenary session of the European Parliament.

The new regulation includes obligations for increased cooperation between Member States and regions to allow for better comparability and easier exchange of data. In support of the achievement of the good environmental status of EU waters, it also includes data to be collected in regard to the impact of fisheries on the marine environment. Also stakeholders will be invited to those groups on a regional level that will develop tailored data collection methodologies for each sea basin.