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November 2010

Common Fisheries Policy

1. EU Council agrees TACs and quotas for deep sea stocks in 2011 and 2012
2. Commission proposes 2011 TACs in Community waters of the Atlantic
3. ICCAT decides on precautionary TAC of 12,900 tonnes for bluefin tuna
4. Commission recommends 25% cut in TACs for Black Sea turbot and sprat
5. European Parliament approves long term management plan for Biscay anchovy
6. Stop fishing notices were published for French, Portuguese and other vessels
7. EU aims to achieve maximum sustainable yields by 2015
8. Commission considers options for elimination of shark finning
9. Commission publishes IUU toolkits and handbook
10. Impacts assessed of EU-Comores Islands and the EU-Seychelles FPAs
11. New rules regarding grants for fisheries inspection, control and surveillance
12. New annual duty free tariff quotas for Norwegian and Icelandic fishery products
13. EU Commissioner aims for greener, simpler and more decentralised CFP.
14. EU Commissioner sets out to maintain marine biodiversity
15. Commission publicises EU fisheries management success stories

Fish hygiene

16. DG SANCO issues 54 rapid alert notices in November 2010
17. Commission allows imports of bivalve molluscs from Chile
18. Commission launches EU-wide monitoring of Listeria in ready-to-eat food
19. Commission to allow LC/MS method for detection of shellfish toxins
20. Industry objects to new limits for non-dioxin-like PCBs in fish oil
21. Commission considers ways to develop Better Training for Safer Food initiative
22. EFSA delivers scientific opinion on Ostreid Herpesvirus
23. Hungary and United Kingdom declared free from spring viraemia
24. Commission extends disease exemptions for import of ornamental fish
25. Germany declares new areas free of certain fish diseases

Common Fisheries Policy

1. At the EU Council of Agricultural and Fisheries Ministers which was held at the end of November 2010, the Council agreed on the EU TACs and quotas for deep sea stocks in 2011 and 2012. This covers the deep water sharks, the black scabbardfish, roundnose grenadier, alfonsinos, forkbeards and orange roughy. The Council also discussed the state of negotiations with Norway regarding the management of joint stocks in the North Sea. A second round of negotiations is due to take place in December.

2. The Commission has finalised its proposals for 2011 TACs in the Community waters of the Atlantic, the North Sea, and international waters regulated by a Regional Fisheries Management Organisation. The scientific advice indicates that only 40% (up from 31% in 2009) of assessed stocks are fished sustainably and 72% of stocks, would provide greater yields if there was less fishing, the proposals are in line with scientific advice.

3. The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) meeting in Paris at the end of November 2010, agreed a precautionary TAC of 12,900 tonnes for bluefin tuna in line with scientific advice, along with a new permanent allocation key. An EU-proposed recommendation on electronic catch documents for bluefin was also adopted. EU proposals for better management of porbeagle and thresher sharks were defeated. However a proposal for shortfin mako was approved, setting precautionary limits for sharks retained on board and landed from this stock, based on the average catch level over the period 2004-2009. This will effectively prevent any further expansion of this fishery beyond the levels of the recent past. Contracting parties which do not demonstrate compliance with the management measures for this species, and in particular with the data provision obligations, will not be allowed to fish until they come into line. The outcome of the meeting was welcomed by the European Commission.

4. Following scientific advice regarding the poor state of stocks of turbot and sprat in the Black Sea, the Commission also published its proposals for cuts of 25% in the TACs of these species.

5. Following the re-opening of the Biscay anchovy fishery in 2010, the European Parliament adopted an amended proposal for a long term management plan for the stock, which commits the EU to maintaining the annual TAC at 30% of the stock level.

6. Stop fishing notices were published for Spanish vessels fishing for redfish, French vessels fishing for forkbeards, spurdog/dogfish, herring and anglerfish, Portuguese vessels fishing for alfonsinos, anglerfish, Dutch vessels fishing for blue ling and plaice, Danish vessels fishing for ling, Lithuanian vessels fishing for northern prawn, Swedish vessels fishing for saithe, and German vessels fishing for skates and rays.

7. Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries indicated that the EU aims to meet the World Summit on Sustainable Development target of exploiting fish stocks according to their maximum sustainable yields by 2015. The European Commission published an information note on the organisation of its system of TACs and quotas and its relevance to the World Summit on Sustainable Development. 8. The Commission published a consultation document on the different legislative options under consideration for the elimination of the practice of shark finning, in line with the commitments made in the Action Plan for the Conservation and Management of Sharks.

9. The Commission published toolkits and links for information regarding the implementation of the EU's IUU Fishing Regulation 1005/2008. The materials include a handbook on the practical application of the IUU Regulation.

10. The Commission published the summaries of the consultancy report prepared on behalf of DG MARE regarding the impacts of the EU-Comores Islands and the EU-Seychelles Fisheries Partnership Agreements. Both studies concluded that the Agreements confer net benefits to both parties. In the Comores, the study concluded that the agreement better meets the needs of the purse seine segment, but it less pertinent for surface longline segment.

11. The Commission has amended the rules regarding the allocation of grants to Member States made towards the costs of implementing fisheries inspection, control and surveillance systems. In future, the subsidy regime will allow investments to be phased over a longer period, and allows them to apply to proportionate investments in assets shared with other (non-fisheries control) functions. In the meanwhile the Commission decided to grant EU Member States an additional EUR 640,000 for strengthening fisheries control inspection and surveillance systems.

12. The European Council approved additional protocols to the EEA Agreement regarding fish imports from Norway and Iceland into the EU. Both countries gain additional annual duty free tariff quotas of a range of fishery products, including herring, Norway lobster, mackerel and redfish fillets.

13. The EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, gave a speech setting out why "business as usual" is not an option for the future of EU fisheries, and setting out her visions for a greener, simpler and more decentralised CFP.

14. Mrs. Damanaki also gave a speech at a Conference marking the International Year of Biodiversity, held in Athens in November. She set out the current EU policy frame on marine biodiversity, and highlighted the importance of the ecosystem approach within the Common Fisheries Policy. Political priorities that clash with the conservation of ecosystems and biological diversity will not be tolerated.

15. The Commission has published Edition No.49 of its publication "Fisheries and Aquaculture in Europe". This edition presents a number of EU fisheries management success stories, such as herring, haddock and saithe.

Fish hygiene

16. In November 2010, DG SANCO of the Commission issued rapid alert notices for failure to comply with health conditions in respect of 11 consignments of bivalve molluscs, 1 consignment of cephalopods, 6 consignments of crustacean and 36 consignments of other fishery products. They included clams and oysters from Turkey, herring and trout from Germany, pangasius from Vietnam and hoki roe from New Zealand.

17. Following an FVO DG SANCO inspection mission earlier in 2010, the Commission has decided to amend the conditions regarding placing of Chilean bivalve molluscs on the EU market. In future, only frozen or processed bivalve molluscs, echinoderms, tunicates and marine gastropods, and chilled and eviscerated Pectinidae will be permitted.

18. Following further reports of increase incidence of Listeria food poisoning in EU countries, and due to the severity of this illness (with high levels of mortality) the Commission has established a coordinated monitoring programme on the prevalence of Listeria monocytogenes in certain ready-to-eat food categories at retail level (with 12,000 samples to be taken). The Commission will provide financial support to Member States for the implementation of the programme (EUR60/sample).

19. The European Food Safety Authority presented the results of a validation study regarding the application of the of LC/MS method for detection of lipophilic marine biotoxins. The results indicated the feasibility of this method as a replacement of the live mouse bioassay method. Following discussions with Member States, the Commission prepared a draft Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 2074/2005, to allow the LC/MS method as a recognised testing methods for detecting marine biotoxins in live bivalve molluscs.

20. The Commission proposed an amendment to Directive 2002/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 May 2002 on undesirable substances in animal feed as regards non-dioxin-like PCBs, to introduce a limit of 150 µg/kg for the sum of 6 indicator PCBs in fish oils for human consumption. However it received a submission from the fish oil sector, calling for a higher limit than that proposed. The Commission has agreed to consider amending the proposal.

21. The Commission held a 2 day conference in Brussels as part of a new dialogue to seek ways to build on the success of the Better Training for Safer Food initiative. Since 2006, the EU has trained 23,000 professionals worldwide to improve food safety. The Commission announced that it is considering launching a study to estimate future training demand, before considering how to approach future training activities.

22. EFSA delivered a scientific opinion of the recent mortality events regarding Pacific Oysters in EU waters. The panel concluded that the Ostreid Herpesvirus-1(OsHV-1) µvar) was the main causal agent, but that other factors, including the oyster genotype and a sudden increase in water temperatures, were also important factors. At the same time, the Commission extended the temporary control measures (which limit movement of oysters) by four months.

23. The Member States discussed a draft Commission Decision to declare Hungary and United Kingdom as free from spring viraemia, a disease of Carp; they are thus free to apply market restrictions on the import of carp from infected areas.

24. The Commission Regulation amended Regulation (EC) No 1251/2010 regarding the import of ornamental aquatic animals suffering from epizootic ulcerative syndrome. This is presently permitted if they are intended to be held only in closed ornamental facilities. The provision was extended for a further two years.

25. Germany has declared certain areas to be free of white spot disease, VHS and IHN diseases of salmonids, in accordance with Directive 2006/88/EC.

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