FishFiles Lite Newsletter
FISHERIES POLICY AND FISH HYGIENE
TECHNICAL INFORMATION IN FOOD & FISHERIES POLICY & DEVELOPMENT
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May 2007

Common Fisheries Policy


1. NEAFC launches new port state control regime from 1st May 2007
2. Commission expresses "deep concern" at the failure to reform Indian Ocean Tuna Commission
3. Commission sets detailed rules for European Fisheries Fund
4. New Regional Fisheries Management Organisation will freeze fishing effort on non-tuna stocks in the Pacific
5. The European Commission and Guinea Bissau initialled a new Fisheries Partnership Agreement
6. Council passed a regulation on technical restrictions on tuna fishing by EC vessels in different ocean regions.
7. The European Commission launched a consultation paper on the development of the EU aquaculture sector.
8. Libya announced that it is lifting its objections to the ICCAT bluefin tuna recovery plan
9. Commission approves automatic licence suspension systems in Denmark, UK and Germany
10. Council Regulation defines recovery plan for sole
11. Portuguese vessels banned from fishing for cod in Norwegian waters.
12. Commission announces intention to introduce more economic thinking in decision-making processes.
13. EU Fisheries Commissioner visits Japan to improve governance of the high seas.

Fish hygiene

14. During May 2007, the European Commission was notified of 40 rapid alerts regarding fishery products.
15. DG SANCO reported on a mission to India: Competent Authority not reliable, but risks to consumer health are limited
16. DG SANCO reported on a mission to Nicaragua; control system was ineffective
17. The DG SANCO holds workshops for officials on veterinary checks at seaport Border Inspection Posts (BIPs)
18. DG SANCO issued a press release and FAQs on "Better Training for Safer Food" initiative
19. Commission published list of disease free zones for salmonid aquaculture
20. EFTA Surveillance Authority approved the Norwegian scheme for ISA control


Common Fisheries Policy

1. The Commission welcomed the coming into force on 1 May, the NEAFC port state control regime. This scheme will require port states to exercise checks and controls on vessels landing fish (including transport vessels) and will prohibit landings except with the Agreement of the flag state.

2. The European Commission expressed "deep concern" at the failure of the process to reform the constitution of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission to allow it to become independent of the FAO/UN, thus allowing for admission of Taiwan as a member. Taiwan, which has a significant tuna fishing interest in the region, will remain outside the requirements of the IOTC management measures.

3. The Commission has set down the detailed rules for the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 1198/2006 (on the European Fisheries Fund, being the new structural fund for the EU fishery sector). It sets out the structure and transmission of operational programmes, fisheries measures to be supported, evaluation of operational programmes, information and publicity, financial instruments, management, monitoring and control, procedures in case of irregularities, electronic exchange of data and treatment of personal data.

4. At the meeting of Parties to a future Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (RFMO) for non-tuna fish stocks in the Pacific (in Reñaca, Chile), the participants agreed on European Commission proposals to contain fishing effort and limit the impact of certain fisheries on the marine environment in the South Pacific. Fishing effort will be frozen on both demersal and small pelagic stocks (mid-water) at 2007 levels.

5. The European Commission and Guinea Bissau initialled a new Fisheries Partnership Agreement for a period of 4 years. The new protocol will provides fishing possibilities for shrimps, fish, cephalopods and tuna. The annual financial contribution will be EUR7 million, 35% of which will provide budgetary support for responsible and sustainable fishing. In addition, the EU will provide EUR0.5 million to improve sanitary conditions in the fisheries sector and to strengthen monitoring, control and surveillance in the waters of Guinea Bissau.

6. Following decisions of several regional fisheries organizations, (including the ICCAT, IOTC and IATTC), the EU Council passed a regulation on technical restrictions on tuna fishing by EC vessels in different ocean regions. For the first time specific measures are included for turtles and sharks.

7. The European Commission launched a consultation paper on the development of the EU aquaculture sector. Stakeholders have until 15 July 2007 to provide the Commission with their views. The consultation paper covers a wide range of issues, including: economic outlook, environmental challenges, public health, animal health and welfare, new aquaculture species and opportunities, technological development, EU support for sustainability, and the role of research.

8. Libya announced that it is lifting its objections to the ICCAT bluefin tuna recovery plan (which sets a modest reduction in TAC), and will implement the plan in 2007, an action praised by EU Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Dr.Borg.

9. The Commission decided to approve automatic licence suspension systems in case of infringements for trawls, Danish seines and similar gears (except beam trawls of mesh sizes equal to or larger than 120 mm) developed by Denmark, UK and Germany. The system allows for an increase in days at sea for these segments.

10. The Council passed a Regulation defining a new recovery plan for sole in ICES VIIe (English Channel), which sets new, lower total allowable catches and introduces a system of fishing effort limitation based on the geographical area and groupings of fishing gear, and the associated conditions for its use.

11. Stop fishing notices were published for vessels fishing for tusk, and Baltic Sea herring. Portuguese vessels were prohibited from fishing for cod in Norwegian waters of ICES zones I and II with effect from 13 May 2007.

12. The Commission has indicated its intention to introducing more economic thinking in the decision-making processes, and has established an Economic Analysis Unit in DG FISH.

13. EU Fisheries Commissioner Dr.Joe Borg undertook a visit to Japan, to meet with members of the Japanese Government fisheries officials, fisheries managers and stakeholders. He visited a number of visits of maritime and fisheries facilities, all with a view to strengthening the EU/Japanese partnership and improving the governance of the high seas.


Fish hygiene

14. During May 2007, the European Commission was notified of 40 rapid alerts regarding failure to comply with health conditions for fishery products. These included fishery products from Denmark (smoked cod liver), Italy (swordfish treated carbon monoxide, anchovy fillets, live mussels), France (redfish, fishmeal, scallops) Poland (smoked sprats, cod liver oil), and Spain (fresh swordfish, and Escolar mislabelled as white grouper).

15. The Food and Veterinary Office of DG SANCO reported on a mission to India in November 2006, with regard to meeting the conditions for supply of fishery products to the EU market. The mission, which followed from a mission in 2005, found that fishing vessels were still not in compliance with hygiene conditions, landing site controls had not been implemented, inspections of establishments did not identify important deficiencies, laboratory tests were not accredited and there was no proficiency testing. The mission concluded that the decisions of the Competent Authority cannot be considered to be reliable, but that risks to consumer health are limited. Guarantees were sought that the outstanding issues would be addressed through an action plan to be submitted to the Commission.

16. The Food and Veterinary Office of DG SANCO reported on a mission to Nicaragua in November 2006, with regard to meeting the conditions for supply of fishery products to the EU market. The mission found that there were several deficiencies in legislation relating to traceability, additives, registration of aquaculture farms, and residue controls and monitoring. There was a lack of follow up of negative inspection findings, and establishments were approved for EU export with no HACCP plan. Hygiene conditions in several establishments were found to be defective. There was also evidence of contamination of water with faecal matter, which was not followed up by inspectors. There was no monitoring programme for contaminants in wild fish and shrimp, and tests for some important banned substances were not conducted in aquaculture products. Laboratories were not accredited. The mission concluded that the control system was ineffective and that the decisions of the Competent Authority cannot be considered to be reliable. Guarantees were sought that the outstanding issues would be addressed through an action plan to be submitted to the Commission, but there was no recommendation that Nicaragua should then be listed on Annex 1.

17. The DG SANCO Initiative "Better Training for Safer Food" held a workshop on veterinary checks at seaport Border Inspection Posts (BIPs) in Livorno, Italy. Forty participants attended, mainly competent authority staff carrying out official controls in seaport BIPs in EU Member State and candidate counties. The training aimed to raise participants' awareness of best practices for veterinary controls on imports of live animals and animal products to check compliance with European standards.

18. The Commission issued a press release and FAQs summarising the objectives and activities of the Better Training for Safer Food initiative run by DG SANCO of the European Commission.

19. The European Commission published a decision amending the list of disease free zones exempt from requirements for movement permits in respect of certain aquaculture diseases of salmonid species.

20. The EFTA Surveillance Authority approved the Norwegian scheme for control of outbreaks of ISA in salmon and trout.

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