At the opening ceremony of the Aquaculture Europe 2022 event in Rimini, Italy, the European Aquaculture Society (EAS) gave its highest award – Honorary Life Membership – to Professor Stefano Cataudella,who has dedicated his life and professional career to develop aquaculture in the Mediterranean basin and around the world.
AE2022 was attended by 2,561 participants from 76 countries.
Unfortunately, Stefano could not be present in Rimini to collect the award, due to unforeseen circumstances. His award was received ion his behalf by his long-term colleague, Clara Boglioni, of the University of RomeTor Vergata.
Herve Migaud, EAS President 2020-2022 introduced and presented the award.
At the onset of marine aquaculture in the early 80s, Stefano started cooperating with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and actively participated and coordinated missions to support aquaculture development in all the Mediterranean countries (including coastal lagoon aquaculture), promoting principles of environmental, social and economic sustainability and compatibility later enshrined in the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF).
During his 40 years plus of active work, he visited over 100 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America in the frame of developing projects with particular reference to aquaculture and coastal lagoon management. His professional accomplishments include the coordination and active involvement with numerous international organizations (FAO, European Commission, United Nations Development Program), as member of committees for various Italian ministries (Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies – MIPAAF, Ministry of Education, University and Research – MIUR, and Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea – MATTM), and as the liaison with aquaculture farmers’ associations. He has always been close to farmers and producers through interactive dialogues that kept him abreast of priorities and challenges in the sector, while exchanging knowledge and professional competences.
In 1996, he was nominated Chairperson of the Committee on Aquaculture (CAQ) of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) (photo courtesy of FAO GFCM), and since 2011, he was elected GFCM Chairperson leading the process of modernization of this organization. He successfully coordinating the Task Force that elaborated the GFCM Strategy for the Sustainable Development of Mediterranean and Black Sea Aquaculture.
He was a Professor of Ecology at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, specialized in Fisheries and Aquaculture Biology, and after his retirement in 2019,he wasappointed Professor Emeritus of the same university. As university professor, he supervised over 200 thesesrelated to fish biology and aquaculture, “valliculture” and coastal lagoons management, and fisheries sciences. Many of his students have continued their professional life in scientific research, as practitioners in fish farms and national and international organizations dealing with fisheries and aquaculture.
As a scientist throughout his career, he dedicated himself to theoretical and applied research on many Mediterranean species and also on novel research tools, publishing over 250 articles in peer-reviewed journals, technical papers, and books.
In 2017, Stefano Cataudellareceived the FEAP Award for Excellence in European Aquaculture and is to date the only Italian having been recognised for this prestigious award.
Herve expressed his sincere thanks to Stefano for his dedication to European aquaculture and, in his unforeseen absence, he wished him well. He presented the award to Clara Boglioni, of the University of RomeTor Vergata.
In a message conveyed to EAS, Stefano expressedhis honour and gratitude to the Society and its Board of Directors. He also had a message to the more than 300 students present at AE2022, telling them that they are the future of aquaculture – and their motivation, multi-disciplinary and innovative way of thinking will ensure that the future of European aquaculture will be in good hands.
Honorary Life Membership of EAS is an award given to those persons that have had a marked impact on the development of European aquaculture. Since 1981, EAS has bestowed this award on only a dozen or so persons, including such names as Eric Edwards, Peter Hjul, Colin Nash, Courtney Hough, Pascal Divanach, Patrick Sorgeloos, Michael New and, in 2017, Sachi Kaushik.