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FISHERIES POLICY AND FISH HYGIENE
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January 2009

Common Fisheries Policy


1. EU publishes 2009 TACs and quotas regulations, including deepwater species
2. UK authorised to apply effort re-allocation scheme for days at sea
3. Latvian cod vessels get four additional days at sea in the Baltic
4. Electronic recording and reporting of fisheries data starts 1 January 2009
5. Community Fisheries Control Agency announces five joint deployment plans
6. Greece, Spain and Italy get EUR25.3 million to buy fisheries MCS assets
7. Reduced import tariffs announced for snapper, fish roe and dogfish.
8. EU extends tariff quotas for fishery products imported from Faroe Islands.
9. Dr.Joe Borg outlines EU anti-piracy initiatives
10. Dr.Joe Borg outlines the EC's Arctic policy

Fish hygiene

11. Sixty five rapid alert notices published for fishery products
12. DG SANCO reports on a mission to Taiwan; controls not fully operational
13. DG SANCO reports on a mission to Faroe Islands; important gaps in controls
14. Slovak Republic told fish product regulations contravene EC labelling laws


Common Fisheries Policy



1. The EU published the Regulation setting the TACS, quotas and effort and area limits for the management of fish stocks in Community waters and in waters where catch limitations are required during 2009. In addition to the usual quota allocations and technical measures, new port state control requirements are specified, along with standard forms and notations. The EU also published the Council Regulation setting the TACS, quotas, and area limits for deep sea stocks targeted by Community vessels for 2009 and 2010.

2. The Commission passed a Decision authorising the UK to apply a system for re-allocation of unused days at sea for trawl vessels >10m operating in EC North Sea waters.

3. The Commission authorised Latvian vessels to undertake four additional days at sea (in addition to the 178 days at sea already allowed) for cod fishing in the Baltic Sea, due to permanent withdrawal of capacity from the Latvian fleet.

4. The date of implementation of the requirement for electronic recording and reporting of fisheries data; was corrected. It now comes into force from 1 January 2009.

5. The Community Fisheries Control Agency announced the adoption of five joint deployment plans for 2009, covering regulated fisheries in NAFO and NEAFC, cod fisheries in the Baltic Sea, North Sea, and Western Waters. In these plans Member States pool their human and material means of control and inspection, and the CFCA coordinates their deployment.

6. The Commission decided to give EUR25.3 million to the Governments of Greece, Spain and Italy for the purchase and modernisation of their fisheries MCS assets (vessels, vehicles and aircraft), this being 50% of the total eligible cost of upgrades proposed by these countries.

7. The EC modified the Common Customs Tariff for a number of commodities, including zero or reduced tariffs for fresh red snapper for processing, fresh, chilled or frozen fish roes, and fillets and meat of dogfish.

8. The Commission extended duty free tariff quotas for imports of fishery products from Faroe Islands. An additional 750 tonnes of salted and dried coalfish (Pollachius virens), 1,200 tonnes of common whelk (Buccinum undatum), and 750 tonnes of the crab (Geryon affinis) will be permitted preferential access to the EC market.

9. In a speech at a Seminar on piracy and armed robbery against shipping, Dr.Joe Borg, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries outlined EU initiatives to counter this threat; he also announced that the European Space Agency is testing a new system for remote identification of commercial vessels in the Horn of Africa region.

10. In another speech in Tromso, Commissioner Borg, outlined the EC's approach to enhanced governance for the Arctic environment, announcing that the EC supports Arctic research initiatives costing EUR86 million.

Fish hygiene

11. During the last 2 weeks of December 2008, and January 2009, DG SANCO of the European Commission published 65 rapid alert notices in respect of consignments of marine products which failed to comply with sanitary conditions. These included seaweed for soup from China, frozen pike from Russian Federation, whole chilled hake from Namibia, black lumpfish roe from Iceland, chilled tuna fillets from the Maldives and frozen nile perch fillets from Tanzania.

12. The Food and Veterinary Office of DG SANCO reported on a mission to Taiwan in September 2008, following up a previous mission in 2006, with regard to meeting the conditions for supply of fishery products to the EU market. The mission found that although a new legislation had been put in place by the Competent Authority and some staff trained, the official control system was not yet fully operational. Non-compliant conditions were found in establishments and onboard vessels. As a result, Taiwan continues to test all consignments of fishery products prior to export to the EC. The Competent Authority was required to submit a plan of corrective actions, subsequently approved by the Commission.

13. The Food and Veterinary Office of DG SANCO also reported on a mission to Faroe Islands in September 2008, with regard to meeting the conditions for supply of fishery products to the EU market. The mission found that there were important gaps in the official controls, particularly in relation to organoleptic checks, and testing for histamine and environmental contaminants. Deficiencies (including unhygienic design and layout) were also found in several establishments. The competent authority was required to submit a plan of corrective actions, subsequently approved by the Commission.

14. The European Commission (Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health) informed the Slovak Republic that its draft Food Codex requirements for labelling of vacuum packed fishery products was likely to be in contravention of EC labelling laws, and suggested that the provision be withdrawn.


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