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August 2007

Common Fisheries Policy


1. Commission increases financial support for stronger fisheries controls in Member States
2. European Council approves Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EC and Kiribati
3. European Council approves Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EC and São Tomé and Príncipe
4. Stop fishing notices published for German, Spanish, French and Italian vessels

Fish hygiene

5. During August 2007, forty five rapid alerts were notified for failure to comply with health conditions for fishery products.
6. European Commission authorized imports of tropical ornamental fish from the Maldives
7. DG SANCO reported on a mission to Mauritania; significant improvement, but monitoring still unsatisfactory.
8. DG SANCO reported on a mission to Oman; insufficient controls at all stages of production, but no imminent risk to public health.
9. European Health Commissioner to visit China to discuss food safety
10. European Commission decided to approve zones free of certain fish diseases in UK, Finland and Italy

Common Fisheries Policy

1. The European Commission passed a decision setting the levels of Community financial contribution to be granted to Member States for expenditure related to the purchase and modernisation of vessels and aircraft for fisheries monitoring and control. Up to 50% of the cost of vessels and aircraft, computer technology and setting up of IT networks will be supported, along with up to EUR 4,500 per vessel for installation of equipment for a satellite vessel monitoring system.

2. The European Council passed a regulation setting out the terms of a new Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EC and Kiribati, initialed on 19 July 2006. Fishing opportunities will be allocated to purse seine vessels from France and Spain (precise numbers still to be determined), and for six long-line vessels from each of Spain and Portugal.

3. The European Council also passed a regulation approving the terms of a new framework Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EC and São Tomé and Príncipe, which will provide fishing opportunities for EC tuna seiners (13 from Spain and 12 from France) and Surface longliners (13 from Spain and 5 from Portugal). A separate protocol sets out the annual financial conditions which apply for the period from 1 June 2006 to 31 May 2010.

4. Due to expiry of quota, stop fishing notices were published by the European Commission for German vessels fishing for cod, tusk and megrim, Spanish and French vessels fishing for cod, and Italian vessels fishing for bluefin tuna.

Fish hygiene

5. During August 2007, forty five rapid alerts were notified for failure to comply with health conditions for fishery products, including consignments from Costa Rica (frozen tuna treated with carbon monoxide), Latvia (anchovies and smoked sprats), New Zealand (pink cusk-eel), Portugal (tuna fillets in glass jars) and China/ Hong Kong (dried seaweed).

6. The European Commission passed a decision authorizing imports of tropical ornamental fish from the Maldives, due to the pending OIE Membership of this country being considered as evidence of adequate animal health controls. The Decision will be automatically rescinded should Maldives not become an OIE Member State by the end of 2007.

7. The Food and Veterinary office of DG SANCO published a report on a mission to Mauritania regarding the health conditions for the export of fishery products to the EU, which took place in December 2006. The mission found that 10 recommendations of the previous mission had been implemented, but 11 had not. Although there were significant improvements in the regulations, inspection procedures and laboratory conditions, controls on vessels were still weak, and several vessels and establishments which were suspended were still listed as approved. Monitoring of hygiene conditions was also found to be unsatisfactory. However, no immediate risk to health was identified, and the Competent Authority was requested to submit an action plan which would address the outstanding matters.

8. The Food and Veterinary office of DG SANCO published a report on a mission to Oman regarding the health conditions for the export of fishery products to the EU, which took place in November 2006 (its first inspection since 1998). The mission found some discrepancies between Omani regulations and the EC requirements. There were no written inspection procedures in place, and there were no official controls made by the Competent Authority of vessels or fish landing sites. Follow up of negative inspection findings was not formally documented. The control system did not separate sampling and analysis for official control and own checks, and not all of the necessary parameters for heavy metal, and organic residues were monitored. Export certificates were signed by veterinary staff who were not from the Competent Authority. The mission concluded that the Omani system does not allow for the necessary controls at all stages of production, but that there was no imminent risk to public health. As a result, the Omani authorities were requested to submit a plan of corrective actions for subsequent implementation.

9. European Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou announced that he will visit the People's Republic of China and Hong Kong from 6 to 14 September, and will meet with the Chinese Vice Premier, the Chinese Minister for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) and the Ministers for Agriculture and for Health, with a view to proposing increased co-operation between China and the EU on food safety, including improving communication on rapid alerts, training and technical cooperation.

10. The European Commission passed a decision adding a number of approved zones in EC Member States (UK, Finland and Italy) with regard to areas which are regarded as free from the fish diseases viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS) and infectious haematopoietic necrosis (IHN).


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