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FISHERIES POLICY AND FISH HYGIENE
TECHNICAL INFORMATION IN FOOD & FISHERIES POLICY & DEVELOPMENT
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Common Fisheries Policy
1. EU announces subsidies for vessel lay-ups and retirement of fishermen, due to economic hardship
2. EU passes new State Aids rules which define the subsidies Member States are allowed to provide to the fishery sector
3. New management regime established for vessels fishing in high seas areas with vulnerable marine ecosystems
4. EU requires 3 year control and inspection plans to support cod recovery plans in the North and Baltic Seas.
5. Polish cod fishers pay for over-fishing with quota cuts during 2008-2011
6. EU Council amends fisheries management measures for vessels catching juvenile bluefin tuna
7. The Commission agrees liberalised trade in fishery products with Egypt
8. EU repeals all anti-dumping duties on Norwegian farmed salmon
9. Community Fisheries Control Agency (CFCA) moves to Vigo, Spain.
10. EU alters the TACs and quotas for blue ling, sand eel, skates and rays in 2008
11. The Commission sets detailed rules for the collection, management and use of data for the Common Fisheries Policy.
12. Days at sea increased for Netherlands beam trawl vessels operating in the North Sea.
13. Stop fishing notices published for several EC fleet segments.
14. New tariff quotas set for fish imports by the Canary Islands.
15. Commission re-defines conditions for application of fish marketing rules to non-members of producer organisations
16. EU Council ratifies the EC-Mauritanian Fisheries Partnership Agreement
17. Commission amends list of IUU fishing vessels
18. EU fisheries and maritime Ministers discuss Integrated Maritime Policy in Roscoff
19. Forty Rapid alerts notified for non-compliant consignments of fishery products during July 2008.
20. FVO publishes detailed programme of inspection missions for the second half of 2008.
21. FVO reports on a mission to Fiji in July 2007; "total absence of official controls"
22. FVO reports on a mission to Eritrea in March 2008; official controls "showed major deficiencies"
23. FVO reports on a mission to Mauritius in February 2008; "serious non-compliances in approved establishments"
24. European Commission nominates Community reference laboratories for crustacean diseases, rabies and bovine tuberculosis.
25. Commission updates information page on residue control plans
26. Commission has publishes official control profiles of EC Member States.
27. Commission considers actions over contaminated fishery products imported from Mozambique and live fish from Malaysia.
28. Commission considers extending derogation period for third country suppliers of fish oils
Common Fisheries Policy
1. The Commission proposed, and the European Council adopted, a regulation establishing specific Community action to address "exceptional economic hardship" in the fishery sector due the increase in the price of fuel. The measures include aid for the temporary cessation of fishing activities for fishers and owners of fishing vessels for a maximum duration of three months (implemented during the period from 1 July 2008 to 31 December 2009), early retirement funding for fishermen, technical assistance for fleet restructuring plans, and pilot projects for energy saving on fishing vessels.
2. The Commission has set out simplified rules governing State Aids in the fishery sector, defining the types of subsidy which are to be considered as exempt from notification of state aids under the European Treaty. In relation to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) active in the production, processing or marketing of fisheries products, the following aid measures are to be permitted: cessation of fishing activities, socioeconomic compensation for the management of the fleet, productive investments in aquaculture, animal health measures, inland fishing, public health measures and processing and marketing (amongst others).
3. As a precautionary approach to the protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems in the high seas areas not regulated by a regional fisheries management bodies, the European Council has passed a Regulation which will require fishing vessels conducting bottom fishing in these areas to seek authorisation in the form of a special fishing permit. The permits will only be issued on condition of the submission and approval of a fishing plan to the Member State. Precautionary criteria will be applied in the evaluation of the impacts of the plan. Member States are required to prohibit their vessels from bottom fishing in areas which are considered to have a vulnerable marine ecosystem. Observers must also be placed onboard to confirm the fishing plan is applied and document observations regarding evidence of vulnerability.
4. Following the adoption of a multi-annual recovery plans for cod in the North Sea in 2004 and cod in the Baltic Sea in 2007, the Commission has passed two decisions which require Member States to implement a specific control and inspection programme for a period of three years. Member States are to draw up a detailed plan of inspections of all stages of catching and marketing, and submit to the Commission for approval. Joint inspection and surveillance activities will be carried out with the CFCA.
5. The Commission passed a regulation adapting the 2008-2011 quotas for cod allocated to Poland, following the overfishing of quota in 2007 by 8,000 tonnes. The new quotas are reduced by the amount over-fished.
6. The EU Council passed a Regulation amending a number of fisheries management measures, including the coordinates of certain deep sea fishing zones, limitations to the number of vessels allowed to catch juvenile bluefin tuna and setting catch limits for bluefin tuna in the Eastern Atlantic; and amending the TACs and quotas under the EC-Iceland Fisheries Agreement.
7. The Commission announced a preliminary agreement to liberalise trade in agricultural, processed agricultural and fish and fishery products between the EU and Egypt. The agreement will zero rate tariffs for bilateral trade in a number of fishery products.
8. Following requests from several member states, the EU has repealed the definitive anti-dumping duties levied on Norwegian farmed salmon imposed in 2006. The Commission decided that the removal of the tariffs would not result in an increase of dumping.
9. The Community Fisheries Control Agency (CFCA) moved from Brussels and took up residence in Vigo, Spain. The new offices were inaugurated by Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Dr.Joe Borg, and attended by Spanish Minister of Environment, Marine and Rural Affairs, Ms.Elena Espinosa and other dignitaries. The Agency organises coordination and cooperation between national control and inspection activities, to ensure that the rules of the EU's common fisheries policy are applied effectively by Member States.
10. Following new scientific advice, the EU altered the TACs and quotas for 2008, setting new quotas for blue ling, sand eel, skates and rays.
11. The Commission passed a regulation setting the detailed rules for the collection, management and use of data for the purpose of fisheries management and for implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy. The regulation requires Member States to prepare annual plans and reports, establish computerised databases, and also provides for financial support from the Community budget.
12. The Commission has increased the effort limits (days at sea) established for the Netherlands beam trawl vessels operating in the North Sea, due to the recent decommissioning of fleet capacity corresponding to 16% of the effort in 2001.
13. Stop fishing notices were published for Swedish vessels fishing for saithe, Belgian vessels fishing for plaice, Lithuanian vessels fishing for blue whiting, Dutch vessels fishing for whiting and cod, and Polish vessels fishing for cod. All Member States vessels except those from Spain, France, Ireland and the United Kingdom were prohibited from fishing for red seabream, and all EU vessels were stopped from fishing for sandeel.
14. The EU Council passed a regulation setting new lower tariff quotas for suspension of customs duties on imports by Canary Islands of fishery products from third countries intended solely for the Canary Islands' domestic market. The new quotas are set at 15,000 tonnes/year of fish and 15,000 tonnes/year of crustacean and molluscs.
15. The Commission passed a regulation setting out the conditions under which Member States may apply rules for the marketing of fish by producer organisations to non-member enterprises, based on the criteria of the degree of representation by the producers' organisations concerned (being a minimum of 65% of production and 50% of fishermen).
16. The EU Council passed a regulation ratifying the EC-Mauritanian Fisheries Partnership Agreement, setting out the fishing possibilities for 11 EC fleet segments for the period from 1 August 2008 to 31 July 2012.
17. The Commission has amended the list of vessels identified as engaged in IUU fishing, following the recommendation of the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC). It now includes a number of vessels, which are banned from using EC ports.
18. At an informal meeting in Roscoff, EU fisheries and maritime Ministers discussed the recently adopted Commission Communication on maritime governance, and the steps towards the adoption of a new European Integrated Maritime Policy for sustainable use of oceans and seas. The policy covers safety at sea, border surveillance, transport, the environment, research, energy and climate change.
19. During July, the Commission was notified of rapid alerts in relation to forty consignments of fishery products which did not comply with food safety conditions. These included four consignments from India (black tiger shrimps, freshwater shrimps and cuttlefish), two from Vietnam (swordfish cubes and surimi), Sril Lanka (tuna) and Maldives (fresh tuna).
20. The FVO published its detailed programme of inspection missions to EC Member States and third countries for the second half of 2008. Inspection missions for fisheries and aquaculture products will be undertaken to Ireland, Iceland, Bangladesh, Barbados, and a number of important third country suppliers to the EC market.
21. The Food and Veterinary Office of DG SANCO reported on a mission to Fiji in July 2007 with regard to meeting the conditions for supply of fishery products to the EU market. The mission found that the legislation did not express requirements to those set out in the EC regulations. Supplies from foreign flagged fishing and freezer vessels were not controlled and came from vessels not authorised to supply the EU market (e.g. Vanuatu). HACCP plans were approved without assessment, there was no evidence of regular inspections of landing sites and establishments, there was a total absence of analyses on fishery products, exports were certified from non-approved establishments, and the testing laboratory did not routinely test fishery products. Health risks are considered to occur for the EU consumer. Recommendations to address the shortcomings were made to the Competent Authority, the Ministry of Health, to address the total absence of official controls over the production chain.
22. The Food and Veterinary Office of DG SANCO reported on a mission to Eritrea in March 2008 with regard to meeting the conditions for supply of fishery products to the EU market. The mission found that progress has been made with the development of legislation and training of the Competent Authority staff. One laboratory is taking steps towards accreditation. New landing sites have been constructed and are in the final stages of approval. However, the mission also found that official controls, inspection and approval at establishment level showed major deficiencies, concluding that the control system is not equivalent to the standards set out in the relevant EC legislation. Recommendations to address the shortcomings are made to the competent authority, the Ministry of Fisheries.
23. The Food and Veterinary Office of DG SANCO reported on a mission to Mauritius in February 2008 with regard to meeting the conditions for supply of fishery products to the EU market. The mission, which followed a previous mission in 2006, found that progress had been made with legislation, recruitment and training of staff, and introduction of some official controls equivalent to the EC requirements. However, inspectors had inadequate knowledge of EC requirements, written procedures were not followed, non-compliant vessels and establishments were maintained on the approved list, and there were serious non-compliances in approved establishments. The report makes recommendations, and the Commission has required the submission of a plan of corrective actions.
24. The European Commission nominated Community reference laboratories for crustacean diseases, rabies and bovine tuberculosis. They include: Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), UK; Laboratoire d'études sur la rage et la pathologie dês animaux sauvages, Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments (AFSSA), France and Laboratorio de Vigilancia Veterinaria (VISAVET), Spain.
25. The Commission has updated its information page explaining the Community rules for the importation from third countries of farmed products of animal origin. The updates include a table summarising the requirements for residue control plans as well as a model plan for the residue monitoring of aquaculture products. Updated information can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/chemicalsafety/residues/third_countries_en.htm
26. The Commission has published profiles of systems of official controls for food safety, plant and animal health for a number of EC Member States. Those presently available include: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia , Finland France, Germany, Greece , Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg , Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.
27. The Commission considered possible actions to take over the lack of controls on environmental contaminants in fishery products imported from Mozambique. The Commission was also scheduled to discuss the possibility of introducing emergency measures to suspend imports of live fish from Malaysia, but withdrew the matter from the Agenda of the SCFAH.
28. The Commission discussed a Draft Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 2076/2005 as regards a transitional period for imports of fish oil, proposing a further extension of the period for suppliers from third countries to comply with the EC requirements.
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