FishFiles Lite Newsletter
. - . - . - . : . - . - . - . : . - . - . - . : . - . - . - . : . - . - . - . : . - . - . - . : . by MEGAPESCA

FishFiles Lite is a free newsletter summarising key developments in EU fisheries and fish trade policy and legislation and is currently being received by over 15,000 fisheries professionals each month.

To upgrade to FishFiles Professional and receive full access to the information summarised in this newsletter and also to be able to search for, and download, files from the Megapesca website, which now contains over 5,000 files, go to:


August 2012

Common Fisheries Policy

1. EU proposes no discard rule for the Skagerrak
2. Commission amends Baltic Sea control and inspection programme
3. Commission requires square mesh panels in Celtic Sea Nephrops fishery
4. Commission publishes data on 2011 over-quota catches by EU countries
5. EU helps Spain to improve the fisheries management information systems
6. Stop fishing notices published for several EU fleet segments
7. Commission approves sampling plans for fish catch estimation
8. EU and Mozambique ratify new FPA Protocol (in force from 13 June 2012).
9. Commission approves bank take-over of Dutch shrimp company
10. Commission to investigate Spanish subsidies to Pescanova company
11. Commission launches consultation on seabed mapping

Fish hygiene

12. Rapid Alerts notified for 52 consignments of fishery products.
13. DG SANCO reports on Brunei; still not allowed to supply fish to the EU
14. DG SANCO reports on Guatemala; several outstanding deficiencies
15. UK Food Standards Agency approves omega-3 rich oils from marine algae

Common Fisheries Policy

1. The European Commission proposed that the EU and Norway harmonize technical and control measures for fisheries in the Skagerrak, to include an obligation to land all catches of certain fish species (to stop the practice of discarding). The measure will enter into force in two stages with cod, haddock, and pelagic species (such as herring and mackerel) covered from 1 January 2013 and will prohibit the use of undersized fish for human consumption (except for charitable purposes). The proposal was required to ensure harmonisation of EU and Norway regulations after the expiry (at the end of August 2012) of the framework agreement between Norway, Denmark and Sweden on mutual access to fish in Skagerrak and Kattegat, which has been in place since December 1966.

2. The European Commission passed a Decision correcting an error in the amendments to the control and inspection programme related to the recovery of cod stocks in the Baltic Sea. The amendment applies the regime to salmon fishing vessels (since cod is also caught in this fishery) and extends the period of control to five years

3. Following scientific advice published in June 2011 by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), which showed that discarding rates of juvenile haddock and whiting in the Celtic Sea were increasing, the Commission has acted to improve selectivity of gears in the Nephrops fishery by requiring the use of square mesh panels in bottom trawls.

4. The Commission issued a press regarding the reductions on 2012 fishing quotas for a number of Member States due to over-quota catches during 2011. Amongst others, Spain caught more than 8,300 tonnes over the allocated quota of horse mackerel in sea area VIIIc (Iberia region) in 2011, and its 2012 quotas are therefore reduced by the same amount.

5. Following Spain's failure in 2011 to monitor catches from its own fleet, the European Commission adopted an action plan to improve the catch registration system, designed jointly by the Commission and the Spanish authorities. The agreed measures will help improve the fisheries information systems implemented by the Spanish Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAGRAMA).

6. Stop fishing notices were published due to exhaustion of quota, for Greek, Portuguese and Maltese vessels fishing for bluefin tuna, Swedish vessels fishing for Atlantic salmon, Portuguese vessels fishing for forkbeards and alfonsinos, and Spanish vessels fishing for haddock, and scabbardfish.

7. The European Commission passed a decision approving the sampling plans submitted by Germany, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, for those species where landed quantities are estimated (either by weighing onboard or after transport).

8. The European Union announced that following ratification by both parties, the Protocol setting out the fishing opportunities and financial contribution under the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and Mozambique, came into force on 13 June 2012.

9. The European Commission cleared the proposed acquisition by the Dutch banks ABN AMRO, Rabobank and Friesland Bank together with the Icelandic bank Landsbanki of the Heiploeg Group, a Dutch supplier of shrimps. The Commission decided that the acquisition did not breach the EU's merger regulations.

10. The European Commission DG MARE announced that it has opened an investigation into grants provided by the Government of Spain to support the processing activities of Ultracongelados Antartidá, which is part of the Pescanova Group.

11. In a Green Paper entitled "Marine Knowledge" the Commission launched a consultation exercise on the creation of a digital seabed map of European waters by 2020. The Project aims to collect all existing seabed data into one coherent database.

Fish hygiene

12. Rapid alerts were notified for failure to comply with health conditions for 52 consignments of fishery products, including 2 consignments of frozen octopus from Greece, 4 consignments of canned tuna from Thailand, 2 consignments of smoked salmon from Poland, 2 consignments of chilled tuna loins from Spain, 2 consignments of monkfish from France,

13. The Food and Veterinary Office of DG SANCO reported on a mission to Brunei in April 2012, to assess whether the controls on fishery products meet requirements to allow Brunei to export to the EU. The mission found that there had been improvements in the implementation of official control systems since the previous mission in 2009. The mission found that aquaculture controls were in place and the CA has an efficient official control system in place for fish processing establishments. However fishing vessels and landing sites were not in compliance with EU requirements. The mission concluded that not all of the recommendations of the previous audit report have been addressed and recommended that the CA present the Commission with a plan of corrective actions for its approval.

14. The Food and Veterinary Office of DG SANCO reported on a mission to Guatemala in April 2012, to assess controls on the export of fishery products to the EU. The mission found that there were significant improvements in the implementation of official controls since the previous mission in 2007. However the FVO inspectors found that there were deficiencies in processing establishments (lack of temperature recording device, poor layout and hygiene) and freezer vessels (lack of temperature recording devices and HACCP plans). The mission also found deficiencies in the controls applied to imported raw material destined for export to the EU. There was no official testing for dioxins and sulphites, and only some of the affected species were monitored for histamine. There was also a recorded instance of incorrect use of medicated feed in aquaculture. The mission recommended that the CA present the Commission with a plan of corrective actions.

15. Following no objection statements received from other EU Member States, the UK Food Standards Agency approved the marketing of a DHA and EPA rich oil derived from the microalgae Schizochytrium.

  • FishFiles Lite is a free service provided by MegaPesca.
  • To upgrade to FishFiles Professional and receive full access to the information summarised in this newsletter and also to be able to search and download files from the Megapesca website which now contains over 5,000 files, go to: online
  • Whilst we use our best efforts to provide accurate information in this newsletter, MegaPesca is not responsible for the results of any inaccuracies or omissions which may be found to exist in the information provided, or any loss of profits or other consequential damages that may result from actions or omissions based on the information supplied. Readers are advised that only the European Union legislation published in the paper editions of the Official Journal of the European Communities is deemed authentic.
  • To Contact MegaPesca:
    Tel: +351 262 990372, Fax: +351 262 990496
    Rua Gago Coutinho 11, Valado de Santa Quitéria, Alfeizerão 2460-207 PORTUGAL