While the demand for fish and other aquatic food as well as the market share of aquaculture are on the rise globally , consumption of these products and the aquaculture sector in Germany is relatively stable on a comparably low level. Average per capita consumption ranged from 14.1 to 14.8 kg in the years 2016 to 2020 amounting to 1.231 million tons of total consumption in 2020 (FIZ 2022) . In parallel, aquaculture production in Germany provides only a share of less than 3% of this consumption. Besides species mainly originating from capture fisheries, predominantly farmed species, such as salmon, trout or various crustaceans, are favorites among the market in Germany (FIZ 2022) .
While fish farming has a long tradition in many regions across Germany, where mainly trout and carp production in flow-through and pond systems as well as mussel production on the shores dominate the sector, German consumers do not necessarily know much about aquaculture ( Feucht und Zander 2017; Risius et al. 2017 ). Given the moderate consumption and small domestic aquaculture sector , contact between consumers and the primary production is fairly limited. Consumers are mainly confronted with aquaculture through products in supermarkets or restaurants. The dynamic development of the sector and the global trade result in ecological and social challenges. These and other topics, e. g., related to product quality, often put aquaculture into the public and medial interest. While fish is generally perceived as healthy food , impressions from neighboring sectors, agriculture and capture fisheries, are being transferred and the public perception of aquaculture and its practices remains ambiguous . This current state of comparably low knowledge, perception and awareness was also considered within the German Strategy Plan for Aquaculture highlighting the need for trustworthy information transfer and communication (NASTAQ 2020).
The project AQUAKULTURINFO
To allow for responsible, fact-based decision making by consumers as well as representatives of trade, processing industry , associations, NGOs, administration or politics, the IGB has launched the third-party funded project AQUAKULTURINFO in 2012. Mainstay and visible core of the project is the website www.aquakulturinfo.de (Fig. 1). The website offers in-depth, science-based articles on aquaculture related topics separated into thematic fields , such as husbandry, animal health and welfare, product quality, environment al interactions or economy and marketing. A section of the website offers species articles on fish, mollusks, crustaceans and algae. The articles are authored by aquaculture scientists and undergo a review process prior to publication on the website to ensure the independent character of the information and objectivity. The website also features a news section and embedded videos. Overall, the original content of the website results in very good rankings among search engines and is highly visible.
In addition to the website, AQUAKULTURINFO provides a variety of services at the interface of science and society and actively engages in public outreach . The project serves as a sought-after information hub for media, politics and administration, trade, industry and associations as well as NGOs and other organizations with interest in the field. Within the framework of the project, consumer and professional events related to aquaculture, fisheries, food, agriculture or general natural science are supported. Furthermore, AQUAKULTURINFO participates in research within the field of consumer perception and communication and supports other projects by dissemination of results. To further strengthen an active role in knowledge transfer, AQUAKULTURINFO seeks innovative approaches in science communication, e. g., through scientific gaming (Fig. 2) . Through these means of PR in combination with the website , active and passive information transfer into the society is realized. In conclusion, AQUAKULTURINFO provides a unique link between science and society and offers comprehensive experience in aquaculture related science communication.
FIZ (2022) Fischwirtschaft Daten und Fakten 2022. Fisch-Informationszentrum e.V., Hamburg , Germany.
NASTAQ (2020) Nationaler Strategieplan Aquakultur 2021-2030 für Deutschland.
Feucht Y, Zander K (2017) Deliverable: D2.2 – Results on consumer preferences for sustainable seafood products from Europe. Thuenen -Institute, Germany.
Risius A, Janssen M, Hamm U (2017) Consumer preferences for sustainable aquaculture products: Evidence from in-depth interviews, think aloud protocols and choice experiments. Appetite 113:246-254.