FishFiles Lite Newsletter
FISHERIES POLICY AND FISH HYGIENE
TECHNICAL INFORMATION IN FOOD & FISHERIES POLICY & DEVELOPMENT
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FishFiles Lite is a free monthly newsletter summarising key developments in EU fisheries and fish trade policy and legislation.
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January 2006

Common Fisheries Policy


1. Ireland and Spain top the EU league for over-fishing.
2. 2006 fishing opportunities and TACs published for Community waters
3. General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) announced fisheries management measures.
4. New anti-dumping duties on Norwegian farmed salmon.
5. EU contributes more cash to Member States fisheries control programmes.
6. Long-term management plan for plaice and sole fisheries in the North Sea announced.
7. EU ratified Fisheries Partnership Agreement with the Seychelles

Fish hygiene

8. Rapid alert notices were published for 31 consignments of fishery products in January 2006
9. Commission introduces protective measures for EU Indonesian fishery products.
10. FVO criticizes Sweden for not correcting failures in controls for bivalve molluscs.
11. FVO finds weaknesses in health conditions for fishery products from Chile.
12. FVO finds some deficiencies in health conditions for fishery products from Thailand
13. FVO finds major problems in health conditions for fishery products from Korea
14. FVO finds deficiencies in health conditions for fishery products from Namibia
15. FVO declares concern regarding health conditions in relation to fishery products from Argentina.
16. The Commission amended its recognition of the Competent Authority in Mauritius
17. Germany reported continuing imports of contaminated fish products from Vietnam.
18. The Commission proposed quality criteria for analysis of smoke products in foods
19. The Commission considered the use of phosphates in non-frozen processed seafood dishes
20. The Commission decided that the "edible parts" of crustaceans should exclude shell.
21. The Commission announced that it will publish a CD-Rom on Food Safety.

Common Fisheries Policy

1. The Commission presented the third edition of the non-compliance scoreboard, naming EU member States which in 2004 failed to comply with EU fisheries conservation regulations, including for the first time, the new Member States. The Member States with the worst records on overfishing in 2004 were Ireland and, for the second year running, Spain. Some quotas were exceeded by up to 68%.

2. The EU published the 2006 fishing opportunities for certain fish stocks, setting the TACs for Community waters, and other waters to which EU vessels have access. The regulation also sets conditions of access to EU waters by third country vessels, outlines licensing conditions for Community vessels and sets special conditions of access by Community Vessels to NAFO and Antarctic stocks, amongst others. Fishing opportunities for the Baltic Sea in 2006 were also published in a separate regulation.

3. The Commission announced its support for measures decided by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), to protect fish stocks and the marine environment in the region. These include the development of a fishing effort management system in a number of fisheries, the closing of some ecologically sensitive areas to deep-water trawling and a seasonal ban on the use of fish aggregating devices in the dolphin fish (Coryphaena hippurus) fishery.

4. The EU passed a new regulation imposing anti-dumping duties of up to 20.9% on Norwegian farmed salmon imported by the European Union.

5. EU contributions to Member States fisheries control programmes were revised; the amount of support will be EUR 105 million in the period 2004-2006.

6. The Commission adopted a long-term management plan for plaice and sole fisheries in the North Sea, which will gradually reduce fishing mortality through a phased reduction of TACs (by up to 15% per year) and introduction of fishing effort limits

7. The Protocol to the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and the Seychelles was ratified, providing fishing opportunities for tuna seiners from Spain (22 vessels), France (17 vessels) and Italy (1 vessel) and surface longliners from Spain (2 vessels), France (5 vessels) and Portugal (5 vessels) until January 2011

Fish hygiene

8. Rapid alert notices were published for failure to comply with health conditions for 31 consignments of fishery products in January 2006. These included oysters contaminated with Hepatitis A (France), excessive cadmium in squid (Spain), and carbon monoxide in tuna from Ecuador, Indonesia and Costa Rica.

9. The European Commission voted to put protective measures in place regarding Indonesian fishery products due to continuing non-compliance with import conditions. Member States are required to undertake an increased level of sampling and testing at border inspection posts.

10. The FVO Reported on health conditions in relation to bivalve molluscs produced in Sweden. The mission found that there was little material progress in correcting failures identified in previous missions, particularly relating to the supervision and coordination of the work of the local authorities. Some approved establishments had not been inspected by the local authorities.

11. The FVO Reported on health conditions in relation to fishery products exported to the EU from Chile, finding that the Competent Authority (SERNAPESCA) has failed to ensure that the conditions in establishments are adequate, and has not followed up on noted deficiencies. Conditions were not considered to be equivalent in relation to fishery products and bivalve molluscs. The CA is requested to submit an action plan outlining the improvements which it intends to implement.

12. The FVO Reported on health conditions in relation to fishery products exported to the EU from Thailand finding deficiencies in wholesale markets and processing establishments, and in the monitoring of biotoxins. Otherwise the situation was found to be "rather satisfactory".

13. The FVO Reported on health conditions in relation to fishery products exported to the EU from Korea (the first inspection since 1995), finding that the competent authority (National Fisheries Product Quality Inspection Service) implemented insufficient monitoring of bivalve production areas; microbiological test methods used were inappropriate, and laboratories did not apply any external quality assurance procedures. The use of an unauthorized additive (alcohol) was observed in one fish processing establishments, and factory vessels were not inspected regularly. The Commission is recommended to seek guarantees that the deficiencies noted are being addressed.

14. The FVO Reported on health conditions in relation to fishery products exported to the EU from Namibia, finding that the Competent Authority is the Ministry of Trade and Industry, but inspection and approval functions are contracted to the South African Bureau of Standards. Although establishment standards were generally good, one had known defects which had not been rectified. HACCP systems were found to not to address all potential hazards and Rapid Alert notifications had not been followed up with establishments. An action plan and guarantees are sought by the Commission.

15. The FVO Reported on health conditions in relation to fishery products exported to the EU from Argentina, finding some legislative discrepancies, with regard to mercury, cadmium and histamine. Weaknesses were identified in the regional organization and management of SENASA, the Competent Authority; there was a lack of written procedures; some marine biotoxins were not monitored in scallops; two out six processing establishments visited showed important deficiencies. The mission team was concerned regarding the competency and reliability of SENASA and recommended an action plan be submitted within two months.

16. The Commission discussed an amendment to Decision 99/276/EC laying down special conditions governing imports of fishery and aquaculture products originating in Mauritius, as regards the competent authority and the model of health certificate

17. Continuing problems were reported by Germany regarding imports of contaminated fish products from Vietnam.

18. The Commission opened discussions on a draft Commission Regulation on quality criteria for validated methods for identification and characterisation of smoke primary products used to flavor foods.

19. The Commission considered the use of fish fillets containing permitted phosphates in non-frozen processed seafood dishes; this should be permitted.

20. Following discussion on methods for measuring sulphites in crustaceans, the Commission recommended that interpretation of "edible parts" should exclude shell.

21. The Commission announced that it has prepared a public CD-Rom on Food Safety, to be available soon via the DG SANCO website.


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