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August 2017

Common Fisheries Policy

1. Commission proposes Baltic Sea fishing opportunities for 2018
2. Commission amends discard plan for small pelagic fisheries in North Sea sprat box
3. EU adjusts 2017 quotas and rules for several species due to scientific advice
4. Stop fishing notices published for redfish, ling, cod, haddock, alfonsinos, and black scabbardfish
5. Parliament publishes study on regional fisheries governance mechanisms in Europe
6. European Economic and Social Committee rejects management proposals for Adriatic small pelagics
7. European Economic and Social Committee declines to give a view on South Pacific RFMO
8. EU grants tariff quotas for aquaculture products from Bosnia and Herzegovina
9. Commission amends certification of origin for fish imports from Thailand
10. EUMOFA publishes latest articles on John Dory, turbot and haddock
11. Parliament supports fisheries access for Venezuelan vessels in EU waters of French Guiana

Fish hygiene

12. Rapid alerts were notified for 65 consignments of fishery products.
13. DG SANTÉ publishes report on Cape Verde; new agency not able to provide information
14. DG SANTÉ publishes report on Chile; some minor deficiencies. 15. Commission amends rules on animal feeds to allow insect protein in aquaculture feeds
16. Commission disseminates information on disease free compartments
17. Commission staff undertake study visits on new aquatic animal health legislation
18. Commission to consider approval of new 6-phytase feed additive for finfish.

Common Fisheries Policy

1. The Commission announced its proposals for Baltic Sea fishing opportunities for 2018, with increased quotas for Central Herring, Sprat and the Main Basin Salmon stocks. It also proposes to maintain the TAC for Western Baltic Cod, and reduce catches from all other stocks. The proposals also include a ban on the Baltic Eel fisheries, not traditionally a part of the annual allowable catch proposals but a necessary step due to new scientific evidence regarding historically low levels of this species. The measures will go forward for decision by the EU’s fisheries ministers later in the year.

2. The Commission amended the 2014 discard plan adopted in order to implement the landing obligation in certain small pelagic fisheries and fisheries for industrial purposes in the North Sea. Following consultations with Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the North Sea Advisory Council and the Pelagic Advisory Council, and after receiving scientific advice from ICES, the decision has been made to permit fishing inside the so called “sprat box” off the coast of Denmark with small meshed (less than 32 mm) towed gears, purse seines and gillnets, entangling nets, trammel nets and drift nets with a mesh size of less than 30 mm. ICES advised that it is unlikely there would be any effect on herring or sprat stocks if the sprat box measures were lifted, and that other management measures are sufficient to control herring bycatch.

3. The EU has adjusted some of the 2017 quotas and associated rules affecting fishing opportunities for species under management in EU waters. The measures affect seabass, sandeel, Northern prawn, sprat in the North Sea, common dab, redfish, and Mediterranean swordfish.

4. Stop fishing notices were published by the Commission due to exhaustion of quota in respect of all Member States fishing for redfish in NAFO 3M area, Danish vessels fishing for ling, Belgian vessels fishing for cod, Spanish vessels fishing for haddock, alfonsinos, and black scabbardfish.

5. The European Parliament, Policy Department for Structural and Cohesion Policies published a study undertaken by consultants on behalf of the Fisheries Committee on Regional Ocean Governance in Europe: The Role of Fisheries. The study assessed key regional organisations; the Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) and Regional Seas Conventions (RSCs) addressing the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Black and Baltic Seas, and the mechanisms by which they cooperate and coordinate as well as their outcomes within the context of EU policy. The study found that that the regions differ significantly in terms of the institutional and political structures dealing with these pressures and challenges. While some best practices in terms of ocean governance can be shared across regions, there is a need to adapt to the specificities of each region.

6. The European Economic and Social Committee gave its opinion on the proposed multi-annual plan for small pelagic stocks in the Adriatic Sea. It agrees with the GFCM-FAO on the need to act to protect stocks of small pelagic fish and the Commission’s decision to opt for a regulation. The Committee is highly concerned that the management model proposed by the Commission, based on the setting of annual fishing possibilities, is not compatible with the biological characteristics of the small Adriatic pelagic fishery, and considers that an alternative management model to step up measures concerning fishing effort via a ‘traffic light’ approach would be better. The Committee is also critical of the lack of a detailed economic and social assessment.

7. In a separate opinion, the Committee indicated that it has no views on the proposed regulation on management, conservation and control measures applicable in the Convention Area of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO).

8. Following the signing of the Protocol to the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the EU and Bosnia and Herzegovina, new concessions for certain originating fish and fishery products have been granted by the EU. Annual tariff quota volumes for trout, carp, sea bass and seabream and anchovies are granted for 500, 140, 30, 30 and 70 tonnes respectively.

9. The Commission adopted a regulation eliminating the requirements for a specific certificate of origin in respect of preferential tariff quotas for non-originating canned and preserved fishery products consigned from Thailand to the EU. In future, the procedures for the presentation of a Common Veterinary Entry Document will be considered to provide sufficient guarantees as to the origin of the prepared or preserved fish.

10. The European Market Observatory for Fisheries and Aquaculture Products published its latest edition of 2017, containing articles on First Sales in Europe, a focus on John dory (France, Italy, Portugal) and turbot (Belgium, Denmark, the UK). Case studies on Haddock in the EU; Fisheries and aquaculture in India are also included.

11. The European Parliament passed a resolution supporting the granting of fishing opportunities in EU waters off the coast of French Guiana to Venezuelan fishing vessels.

Fish hygiene

12. During August 2017 there were 65 rapid alert notifications for fishery products. There were 4 rapid alert notifications for bivalve mollusc products, 3 rapid alert notifications for cephalopod products, 19 rapid alert notifications for crustacean products, 39 rapid alert notifications for other fishery products and no rapid alert notifications for gastropod products. These included 2 consignments of live cockles from the UK, 10 consignments of frozen mantis shrimps from Tunisia, 4 consignments of smoked salmon, 3 consignments of chilled hake, 2 consignments of codfish and 2 consignments of swordfish from Spain, 2 consignments of mako shark from Portugal, 2 consignments of frozen perch fillets from China and 2 consignments of swordfish from Sri Lanka.

13. The Food and Veterinary Office of DG SANTÉ published its report on sanitary controls for fishery products exported from Cape Verde to the EU, following an audit undertaken in March 2017. The mission found that the controls applied were based on a suitable set of legislation, instructions and procedures that should provide the guarantees required in the European Union export certificate. However, a number of weaknesses were identified concerning the official laboratory (the LOPP) which cannot currently carry out analysis of official samples of fishery products for most parameters required under EU legislation and cannot deliver the analysis results to ACOPESCA in a timely manner. Some shortcomings were also identified concerning the hygiene at processing establishments. The Commission also expressed concern that the transfer of functions, in April 2017, from ACOPESCA to a new competent authority, the Service for Inspection and Warranty of Quality (Serviço de Inspeção e Garantia de Qualidade) under the National Directorate for Maritime Economy might pose a risk for the implementation of official controls, since the Director of the new Agency was not able to provide any information to the audit team.

14. The Food and Veterinary Office of DG SANTÉ published its report on sanitary controls for fishery products exported from Chile to the EU, following an audit undertaken in May 2017. The mission found that an official control system was in place covering the production, processing and distribution of fishery products, which allows the Chilean competent authority to guarantee that fishery products exported to the EU comply with relevant elements of the export health certificate. However, the system is weakened by several shortcomings. The Competent Authority did not always take action relating to high storage temperatures for frozen fishery products. A laboratory nominated for testing for official controls, although accredited to ISO 17025, had not addressed unsatisfactory results of proficiency testing. The mission also noted that EU export certificates are issued in a single language which may not always be understood by the certifying officer. The Competent Authority, the SERNAPESCA was requested to submit a plan of corrective actions, subsequently accepted by the Commission as providing adequate guarantees that the system of control was at least equivalent to that set out in EU legislation,

15. The European Commission has amended its regulations concerning processed animal protein in animal feeds to permit the use of protein derived from certain insects. The Decision follows the 2015 publication of a scientific opinion by the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) of a risk assessment related to the production and consumption of insects as food and feed. It considers that the derogation for the feeding of non-ruminant processed animal protein and fishmeal to aquaculture animals should be extended to allow the inclusion of processed and compound feeds containing insect protein from insects bred for that purpose. Permitted species should not be pathogenic or have other adverse effects on plant, animal or human health; they should not be recognised as vectors of human, animal or plant pathogens and they should not be protected or defined as invasive alien species. Insect species which fulfil the safety conditions for insect production for feed use are: Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens), Common Housefly (Musca domestica), Yellow Mealworm (Tenebrio molitor), Lesser Mealworm (Alphitobius diaperinus), House cricket (Acheta domesticus), Banded cricket (Gryllodes sigillatus) and Field Cricket (Gryllus assimilis). A new model health certificate is laid down as well as rules setting out the specific requirements for breeding of farmed insects for the production of processed animal protein.

16. The Commission disseminated information concerning several declarations on disease free status for diseases of aquatic animals. Two compartments were declared in Germany in relation to infectious haematopoietic necrosis (IHN) and viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS) and one in France.

17. The Commission announced that it will disseminate the results of a series of Study visits to three Member States to collect information and gain essential knowledge on the aquaculture sector. The purpose of the mission was to guide the drafting of supplementary legislation within the framework of the nee Animal Health Law.

18. The Commission informed Member States that it has received an application for approval of OPTIPHOS® (6-phytase) as a feed additive for finfish.

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