Sources & Methods


Data on the quantity of aquaculture production is collected according to Regulation (EC) No. 762/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 9 July 2008 on the submission by member states of statistics on aquaculture and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No. 788/96.

Main users of data on aquaculture include the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture (DFA) within the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Climate Change (MSDEC); Eurostat; and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

Methodological description of survey

The data is collected on an annual basis by means of an exhaustive survey where all the fish farms are obliged to submit information on their structures and economic activity.  The data requested are:

  • ​the number, surface area and volume of cages utilised;
  • purchases and sales of fish in weight and in value;
  • opening and closing valuation of stocks at the beginning and end of reference year;
  • the expenses incurred in the production of farmed fish; and
  • the number of employees

A detailed questionnaire is sent electronically to all fish farms during the second quarter of each year, referring to the preceding year. 

Accuracy and reliability of data

Data regarding imports and exports of tuna, sea bream and sea bass is compared to the data registered in the Intrastat system for collecting data on the trade in goods between the countries of the European Union.  In case discrepancies emerge, the fish farm is contacted again to update or verify the figures. These measures ensure that the overall accuracy of aquaculture data is high.

Timeliness and punctuality of data

One news release on aquaculture and tuna farming is published annually on the NSO’s website as scheduled in the Advance Release Calendar​.   

Data is collected and transmitted to Eurostat within 11 months after the end of the reference year. 

Accessibility and clarity of data

Tables on aquaculture and tuna farming are also included in the annual publication ‘Agriculture and Fisheries’ which is available on the NSO’s website.  The publication was last published in 2016 for reference year 2014.

A quality report of the data collection is compiled according to an established structure and is sent to Eurostat together with the yearly data transmission.   A similar report is produced at a national level and made available on the NSO’s metadata website.   

Coherence and comparability / consistency of data

The data collected on aquaculture and tuna farming can be compared with the data of other European Union member states since all the countries follow the established guidelines of the Regulation (EC) No. 762/2008.  Such data is also comparable from reference year 2005, that is, from the first time this data started being collected. 

Data collected regarding the imports and exports of tuna, sea bream, and sea bass is comparable to data available in the Intrastat system available within the International Trade Statistics Unit.  The National Accounts Unit makes use of the same data; therefore aquaculture statistics is completely reconcilable with National Accounts.


Other Documents Date Format
Questionnaire 2020
Kalkulatur tal-Inflazzjoni Kalendarju tal-Istqarrijiet tal-Aħbarijiet Talbiet għat-Tagħrif Mistoqsijiet dwar il-Kodiċi tan-NACE
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