FishFiles Lite Newsletter
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September 2017

Common Fisheries Policy

1. Tariff quotas for 23,000 tonnes/year of Canadian shrimp under CETA
2. EMFF calls for proposals to be opened soon under "Sustainable blue economy"
3. NAFO holds annual meeting; new management regime for Greenland Halibut
4. New rules for representation on CFP Fisheries Advisory Councils
5. Joint Research Centre makes maritime surveillance software open source
6. EUMOFA published a case study on UK market and price structure for fresh cod
7. New rules of use of protected geographical indication for Ligurian anchovies
8. Commission adjusts 2017 fishing quotas for EU Member States
9. New information leaflet on EU’s Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements
10. Joint Research Centre models Black Sea’s physio-chemical characteristics
11. DG MARE publishes study on blue econometrics
12. Mediterranean Minsters to hold Conference on Blue Economy in November
13. EU and Georgia host stakeholder event on Black Sea blue economy
14. EU’s Open Sea Lab Project calls for grant applicants using open marine data
15. EU REMEDIA Life project launched on multi-trophic aquaculture
16. EU LIFE-Brewery project to use brewery by-products for aqua feeds
17. EU LIFE EPS SURE project to study uses for waste polystyrene fish boxes.
18. EU RELIONMED-LIFE project to study lionfish invasion in the Mediterranean Fish Hygiene 19. Rapid alerts were notified for 30 consignments of fishery products 20. FVO assesses Indonesian sanitary controls for tuna; raw materials from unauthorised source 21. FVO assesses Zimbabwean sanitary controls for fishery products; no evidence of control

Fish hygiene

19. Rapid alerts were notified for 30 consignments of fishery products
20. FVO assesses Indonesian sanitary controls for tuna; raw materials from unauthorised source
21. FVO assesses Zimbabwean sanitary controls for fishery products; no evidence of control

Common Fisheries Policy

1. Following the provisional application of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the EU, the EU has opened a number of tariff free quotas for a range of goods originating in Canada, including an annual tariff quota of 23,000 tonnes of shrimp and shrimp products, as well as a quota for Atlantic and polar cod.

2. The European Commission announced that it will launch its European Maritime and Fisheries Fund call for proposals under the theme of the "Sustainable blue economy" with a total budget exceeding €14 million. The call will be published at the end of October 2017, and an information day for interested stakeholders will be held on 9 November 2017 in Brussels, which will be attended by the Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella.

3. The Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (NAFO) held its annual meeting in Montreal from 18 to 22 September 2017. The parties agreed new and more modern multiannual management rule for Greenland Halibut, and new management measures for cod and redfish in the Flemish Cap. The 11 Contracting Parties also discussed the protection of the vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs), and agreed to protect the entire New England Seamount chain, by prohibiting bottom fishing on all peaks shallower than 2000 metres. It was also agreed to launch a new Performance Review exercise for the organisation.

4. The Commission has passed a regulation amending detailed rules on the functioning of the Common Fisheries Policy’s Advisory Councils, which promote a balanced representation of all stakeholders in the field of fisheries and aquaculture. The amendment grants ‘sector organisations’ (with 60% of the seats on the Advisory councils) and ‘other interest groups’ (with 40%) the right to decide autonomously on their representation in each Councils’ executive committee.

5. The EU Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) released to the public the source software of its SUMO maritime surveillance tool, which can help to detect ships engaged in illicit activities. The SUMO software (Search for Unidentified Marine Objects) automatically scans large numbers of satellite images for the presence of ships. The results can be cross-checked with other maritime data to help identify suspicious vessels, potentially engaged in illegal oil dumping, piracy and unsustainable fishing.

6. The European Market Observatory for Fisheries And Aquaculture Products (EUMOFA) has published a case study on the market for fresh cod in the UK. The report summarises EU markets for cod, and analyses the price structure of fresh cod at different stages of the UK supply chain. The report notes that in 2014 the world catch of Atlantic cod reached its highest level in ten years (1,37 million tonnes) but decreased by 5% in 2015 (to 1,30 million tonnes).

7. The Commission adopted a regulation approving amendments to the specification of ‘Acciughe sotto sale del mar Ligure” (Ligurian anchovies) a product with a protected geographical indication.

8. The European Commission published a regulation adjusting 2017 fishing quotas for EU Member States to account for under-utilisation in previous years.

9. The EU published a new information leaflet on its 12 Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements with third countries which benefit more than 240 vessels from 10 EU Member States.

10. Scientists at the Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) have published a paper on a study which modelled the Black Sea’s physical and chemical characteristics, including its currents, salt content and temperature. The study suggested that the average surface temperatures of the Black Sea may not have changed in the last 50 years. However average temperatures at 50 metres below the surface may be rising. The results come in direct contrast to previous simulations of the nearby Mediterranean Sea, which is getting warmer. Scientists also found a significant decreasing trend in surface salt content of 0.02 % per year.

11. The European Commission, DG MARE published a study on the Establishment of a Framework for Processing and Analysing of Maritime Economic Data in Europe, which seeks to define and measure the blue economy in the EU. The study undertook five tasks; Common delineation of the maritime activities, defining indicators for maritime activities, identification of data sources, collecting and processing the data into a database and a peer-review. The study identified that there are several important areas of the blue economy for which there are no or very few data available, such as blue biotechnology, desalination, dredging, marine equipment, renewable energy, seabed mining and wind energy (except for capacity installed).

12. The Commission announced that the Ministers of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Regional Stakeholder Conference on Blue Economy will take place in Naples (Italy) on 29-30 November 2017. This will be attended by governments’ representatives, regional/local authorities, business sector, universities/training and education centres, international development bodies and civil society organizations dealing with marine and maritime issues, with the aim of consolidating the Mediterranean blue economy community, capitalizing on the experiences and lessons learned and discussing the opportunities and challenges in terms of jobs creation and investments potential.

13. The European Commission and the Georgian Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development and the Georgian Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection held their 4th annual stakeholder event on developing the blue economy in the Black Sea under the title "Connecting the region through marine and maritime cooperation". The conference concluded that a regional maritime strategy can succeed, only if it results from a bottom-up process involving coastal communities and maritime stakeholders. To support this process, the Commission announced the launch of a EUR 1 million technical assistance project “Facility for Blue Economy Development in Black Sea”.

14. The EU’s Open Sea Lab Project has put out a call for parties interested in applications of open marine data (coders, developers, GIS and data enthusiasts etc), who are invited to attend the 1st EMODnet Open Sea Lab on opportunities for new uses for marine open data. The three day “open data bootcamp” will be held from 15-17 November 2017 in Antwerp Belgium to ideate and co-create innovative solutions to unique problems using EMODnet’s wealth of marine data and services.

15. The new EU funded project REMEDIA Life (REmediation of Marine Enviroment and Development of Innovative Aquaculture: exploitation of edible/not edible biomass) has published a fact sheet on the project. This aims to develop and demonstrate the effectiveness of Integrated Multi Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) system, as a way to mitigate the negative environmental effects of aquaculture activities, by using stress-tolerant bio-remediators, such as polychaetes and sponges which may provide a better bioremediation performance than obtained from commonly-used organisms such as mussels and macroalgae.

16. The new EU funded project “LIFE-Brewery - New Strategies for Improving the Sustainability of Breweries: Full Waste Recovery for Aquaculture Feed” published an information sheet on its proposed activities. The project aims to demonstrate an innovative and highly-replicable integrated solution to recover brewery by-products (such as yeast) as aquaculture-feed ingredients.

17. The new EU funded project “LIFE EPS SURE - Expanded PolyStyrene SUstainable REcycling: From EPS waste to food contact PS final market” published an information sheet on its proposed activities. The project aims to provide an innovative methodology and a set of technological solutions to manage waste EPS fish boxes.

18. The new EU funded project “RELIONMED-LIFE - Preventing a LIONfish invasion in the MEDiterranean through early response and targeted Removal” published an information sheet on its proposed activities. The project aims to aims to make Cyprus the ‘first line of defence’ against the invasion of the lionfish in the Mediterranean.

Fish hygiene

19. During September 2017 there were 30 rapid alert notifications for fishery products. There were 6 rapid alert notifications for bivalve mollusc products, 10 rapid alert notifications for crustacean products, 24 rapid alert notifications for other fishery products and no rapid alert notifications for cephalopod products or gastropod products. These included 3 consignments of mussels from Italy, 2 consignments of cockles from the UK, 4 consignments of chilled spiny lobster from Algeria and 2 consignments of swordfish from Portugal.

20. The Food and Veterinary Office of DG SANTÉ reported on an audit mission to Indonesia in March 2017, to assess the sanitary control systems for the export of tuna products to the EU. The mission found that the legislation presents important gaps, notably related to the absence of a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points plan for freezer vessels and the exemption of fishing vessels below 20 gross tonnes from sanitary controls. In addition, pre-set classifications for deficiencies in establishments undermined the ability of official staff to correctly determine the compliance of establishments with EU requirements. None of the fishing vessels visited could be considered compliant with the EU requirements, especially in terms of temperatures controls. In an approved processing establishment, production rooms had unsuitable ceilings, damaged floor and non-pest proof doors. Raw materials for products exported to the EU were also obtained from suppliers not controlled and not permitted to participate in the production chain of fishery products destined to the EU market. Due to lack of accreditation, the competent authority could not guarantee the reliability of the results of the tuna fishery products testing for lead and mercury. The Indonesian Central Competent Authority, the Fish Quarantine and Inspection Agency, was requested to submit and implement an action plan of corrective actions.

21. The Food and Veterinary Office of DG SANTÉ reported on an audit mission to Zimbabwe in May 2017, to assess the sanitary control systems for the export of fishery products to the EU. The mission found that legislation was outdated with regard to limits for heavy metals in fishery products, which exceed the current EU thresholds. The competent authority could not demonstrate the effective functioning of the official control system and was not able to arrange any visits to the two fishery product establishments listed for EU export, since they had ceased their export activities. There was insufficient written documentation to indicate that establishments were subject to effective official controls of these establishments. The Central Veterinary Laboratory nominated for testing could not analyse for heavy metals, and other tests were not within the scope of accreditation or used methods which did not comply with ISO standards. Although Zimbabwe exported one consignment of crayfish to the EU in 2017, the Competent Authority was not able to demonstrate any follow up to two consignments rejected at the EU border in 2016. There was no evidence that the guarantees set out in the health certificate were valid regarding traceability, the fulfilment of hygiene conditions during production, the temperature and transport requirements and the absence of contaminants. Given the above, the FVO concluded that the Competent Authority, the Division of Veterinary Service, could not provide sufficient guarantees that fishery products for export to the EU were produced in accordance with the public health requirements of the EU. The Competent Authority subsequently delisted both fish processing establishments, and no exports are permitted. In the meanwhile, it has submitted a plan of corrective actions to the Commission.

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