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July 2018

Common Fisheries Policy

1. EU establishes multiannual plan for North Sea demersal stocks
2. EU amends multiannual plan for cod, herring and sprat in the Baltic Sea
3. Spanish trawl vessels allocated additional days at sea
4. Catalonian goby fishers granted trawl access within 3 miles of shore
5. Baltic herring quotas adjusted
6. Stop fishing notice published for Greek vessels fishing for Bluefin tuna
7. DG MARE to hold a public scientific seminar on fisheries science challenges
8. EU's Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers to focus on external dimension of CFP
9. EU and Morocco agree on terms for renewal of fisheries agreement and protocol
10. EU and Côte d'Ivoire sign new protocol to Fisheries Partnership Agreement
11. Commission announces public consultation on EU fishery product marketing standards
12. South Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement agrees on no trawl zones 100% observer coverage
13. EU adopts regulation measures passed under South Pacific RFMO
14. Commission withdraws yellow card against Tuvalu
15. EUMOFA publishes a study on the price structure of seabass in Greece, Croatia and Spain
16. EUMOFA Market Observatory publishes items on monkfish, smelt and mussels
17. EU and China sign "ocean partnership agreement" on ocean governance
18. Commission to hold #BlueInvest innovators-investors match-making event in Vigo
19. European Parliament publishes study on training of fishers in the EU
20. European Parliament publishes study on Fisheries in Andalusia - Atlantic region

Fish hygiene

21. Rapid alerts were notified for 51consignments of fishery products
22. Commission delists all Brazilian export fish establishments
23. Commission publishes findings of tuna export sector audit in Senegal; dual use tanks found
24. Commission publishes findings of fishery export sector audit in Myanmar; much improved
25. Commission and Member States discuss excess fluorine in calcareous marine algae
26. Commission guidance document on acrylamide in food to be published shortly
27. Adjustments made to fish disease status of Croatia, Finland, UK and Ireland
28. New salmonid disease-free compartments proposed by Germany and Slovenia

Common Fisheries Policy

1. The EU established a multiannual plan for demersal stocks in the North Sea aiming at the sustainable exploitation of cod, plaice and sole, which are taken along with other demersal stocks of roundfish, flatfish and cartilaginous fish species, Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus) and Northern prawn (Pandalus borealis) that live at or near the bottom of the water column. The plan establishes the target fishing mortality ('F') in each case and the upper thresholds that correspond to the objective of reaching and maintaining Maximum Sustainable Yield, based on the best available scientific advice. Safeguard measures are provided for in case the stock size falls below those levels.

2. The EU passed a regulation to amend the multiannual plan for the stocks of cod, herring and sprat in the Baltic Sea, to adjust the stock conservation targets for Baltic herring due to changes in the boundaries of its geographic distribution area and re-estimation of the MSY fishing mortality ranges.

3. Spanish vessels overall length equal to or greater than 10 metres, carrying on board or deploying trawls have been allocated additional days at sea in ICES divisions 8c and 9a, excluding the Gulf of Cádiz, to increase the total to 129 days in the area.

4. The Commission has granted Spanish vessels a derogation from the ban on using towed gears within 3 nautical miles of the coast or within the 50 m isobath. Following scientific advice that the impacts will be limited 26 vessels are allowed to use such gears in fishing for sand eel and gobies in certain territorial waters of Spain (Catalonia).

5. The European Council has adjusted the quotas for herring in the Baltic Sea.

6. A stop fishing notice was published by the Commission due to exhaustion of quota by Greek vessels fishing for Bluefin tuna in the Atlantic Ocean, east of 45° W, and Mediterranean.

7. The Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission (DG MARE) announced that it will hold a Scientific Seminar on Fisheries Science on 14 September 2018 in Brussels. The seminar will review long-term fisheries science challenges, long-term trends with respect to maximum sustainable yield, and, mixed fisheries in the North-east Atlantic, the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, and in the Mediterranean. Presentations will be made by senior experts in fisheries biology from DG MARE, ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea) and STECF (Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries), among others. The seminar is open to the public. More information is available at:

8. The EU's meeting of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers was held Brussels, at which the new Austrian Presidency presented its work programme for the period July-December 2018. In the field of fisheries, the presidency will lead the negotiations on 2019 catch limits for the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea and the North Sea and the Atlantic as well as the two-year TACs and quotas for deep-sea species and three-year autonomous tariff quotas for certain fishery products. It will continue work on the proposal on the multi-annual plans on the Western Mediterranean Sea and Western Waters, the proposed amendment of the Official Controls regulation and the proposal for the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund after 2020. The presidency also declared that it will place emphasis on the external dimension of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

9. The European Commission and Morocco held their fifth negotiating session for the renewal of the partnership agreement in the fisheries sector and its Protocol, resulting in an agreement between the Parties. This will lead to a renewal of the 30-year partnership which will enable 128 European ships, flying the flag of more than 10 Member States, to access Moroccan waters. The total amount of the consideration financial contribution paid by the Union over 4 years will reach EUR42.4 million, with up to EUE12.7 million paid by vessel operators. In exchange, the fishing opportunities will increase from 85 000 to 100 000 tonnes per year of small pelagics and approximately 7,000 tonnes per year for other fish species (demersals). Both parties will now prepare their own legislative processes for ratification of the new Protocol.

10. The European Council passed a decision on the signing of the Protocol to the EU Côte d'Ivoire Fisheries Partnership Agreement, now in force. The six-year protocol sets out EU fishing opportunities for 28 freezer tuna seiner vessels and 8 surface longliners: vessels. The financial contribution is EUR 682,000 per year, or a total of EUR 4,092,000 for the period. This includes a specific annual amount of EUR 352,000 for the first two years of application of this Protocol and EUR 407,000 for the following years, to support the implementation of the sectoral fisheries policy in Côte d'Ivoire. Vessel owners shall make an annual financial contribution estimated at EUR 330,400 for access to the Ivorian fishing zone.

11. The European Commission announced a Public Consultation on EU marketing standards for fishery and aquaculture products. This aims to gather input from all relevant stakeholders, including consumers to provides the feedback on the marketing standards in the fishery and aquaculture sector as a tool to ensure supply of sustainable products to the EU market, fair competition among operators and improved profitability of the fishery sector as well as a level-playing field between EU and imported products. The consultation is open until October 2018, and is in the form of an online questionnaire at:

12. The members of the South Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement (SIOFA) held their fifth meeting in Phuket, Thailand. Parties, including the European Union, agreed to designate five areas as interim protected areas which are closed to trawling, and the scientific observer coverage for trap and line fishing increased from 20% to 100%. SIOFA decided to develop a vessel monitoring system by 2020 and to introduce entry-exit reports for all SIOFA registered vessels moving in and out of the Agreement area. They also agreed to introduce a compliance monitoring scheme.

13. The EU adopted a regulation bringing into EU law the management, conservation and control measures agreed in the frame of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO) Convention Area (other than the fishing opportunities decided by the SPRFMO, which are expressed in the EU's TACs and quotas regulation). It requires Member States to inform the Commission without delay of the date of the closure of a fishery for jack mackerel that has reached 100 % of its catch limit, to ensure a minimum 10 % scientific observer coverage, and to report catches on a monthly basis. In addition, all Union fishing vessels using longlines shall be subject to the seabird mitigation measures. Other requirements relate to controls on use of gillnets, exploratory fishing and transhipment controls.

14. The Commission issued notice of the termination of the process taken against Tuvalu regarding the possibility of being identified as a non-cooperating third country in the fight against IUU fishing. The Commission noted that Tuvalu has introduced the necessary measures for the cessation of IUU fishing activities, and the prevention of any future such activities. These include an amended fisheries legal framework in line with international law of the sea, a deterrent regime of sanctions and an update system for management of fishing resources in compliance with the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission conservation and management measures. The Commission has issued a press release announcing the termination of the yellow card process against Tuvalu. European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella congratulated Tuvalu for the progress made.

15. EUMOFA published a study on the price structure in the supply chain of seabass in Greece, Croatia and Spain. It considers production and supplies to market in the context of global production, and assess market sizes by EU Member State and the impact of imports and exports. The structure of the supply chain is described in each of Greece, Croatia and Spain, along with estimates of prices and margins at each stage. The study concludes that seabass production has been growing in the EU, especially due to aquaculture which accounted in 2016 for 96% of the total production. Farmed seabass production has experienced a 35% increase over the past decade. The EU apparent market for seabass is slightly below 100.000 tonnes. The leading markets are by far Italy and Spain, which represent more than 60% of the EU market. In terms of per capita consumption, Portugal ranks first with 680 grams, followed by Cyprus, Italy and Spain, all above 500 grams. The study found that the highest ex-farm prices were in Croatia. In Spain the ex-farm price is the lowest, but the product covered is a smaller fish.

16. The European Market Observatory for Fisheries and Aquaculture Products published its latest edition of 2018, containing articles on Monkfish in (Denmark, Italy, Portugal), European smelt (Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia) Consumption of Mussels (Mytilus spp.) in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands and case studies on fisheries and aquaculture in the Faroe Islands.

17. On 16 July, the European Union and China signed an "ocean partnership agreement" setting out an agreement to improve the international governance of the oceans in all its aspects, including by combating illegal fishing and promoting a sustainable blue economy. The partnership also contains clear commitments to protect the marine environment, tackle climate change in accordance with the Paris Agreement and implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in particular the Sustainable Development Goal 14 on oceans.

18. The Commission announced that it will hold its annual #BlueInvest in the Atlantic in Vigo on 23 October 2018. This is a match-making event that brings together innovators and investors to boost the economic potential of the ocean while protecting its marine resources. The event is part of the Atlantic Stakeholder Platform conference, the annual meeting point for everyone involved in designing the Atlantic Blue Economy and will gathers innovators, investors and researchers, SMEs, NGOs, authorities and representatives of the civil society from the Atlantic region.

19. The PECH Committee of the European Parliament published a study on training of fishers in the EU. The study reviews training of fishers in the EU and provides some country case studies. It concludes that, unlike the maritime transport sector, there is no single EU standard for the training and certification of fishers relating to health and safety on board. Member State safety training and certification requirements for fishers are complicated and vary significantly between Member States. It finds that the complexity is an obstacle to the free movement of fishers and it makes it harder to comply with statutory training and certification requirements and may be contributing to illegal labour, and worker exploitation in the fishing sector.

20. The PECH Committee of the European Parliament published a study of Fisheries in Andalusia - Atlantic region which is commissioned in 2018. The study reviews the Atlantic region of the Andalusian fisheries sector (focusing on Cadiz), from the catching sector and aquaculture to consumption, taking into account the sustainability of resources in the ecosystem, the economy and the social dimension. It draws no conclusions or recommendations.

Fish hygiene

21. During July 2018 there were 51 rapid alert notifications for fishery products. There were 5 rapid alert notifications for bivalve mollusc products, 6 rapid alert notifications for cephalopod products, 11 rapid alert notifications for crustacean products, 27 rapid alert notifications for other fishery products and 2 rapid alert notifications for gastropod products. These included 3 consignments of squid and 3 consignments of frozen salmon from China and 4 consignments of frozen shrimp from India.

22. The EU formally remove all establishments from the list of Brazilian establishments from which fishery products are authorised to be exported to the EU. The measure follows a September 2017 inspection by the European Commission which revealed that primary production freezer vessels and establishments for fishery products supplying the EU were not subject to official controls. The Brazilian authorities subsequently voluntarily announced the suspension of the issuance of health certificates for all fishery products intended for export to the Union from 3 January 2018. However, Member States notified the Commission that consignments of fishery products originating from Brazil have continued to be presented at the Union borders, with certificates issued after the date of suspension, leading to the formal delisting by the Commission.

23. The European Commission DG SANTÉ has published the findings of an audit mission conducted in Senegal in February 2018 in order to evaluate the control systems in place governing the production of tuna products derived from tuna species intended for export to the European Union. The mission found that whilst official control system in place is based on adequate procedures, it does not reflect the European Union rules applicable to brine frozen tunas (relating to temperature limits and possible end-use) which are subsequently exported as frozen whole round fish and canned fish. Deficiencies were also noted in the control of approved listed freezer vessels which use "dual" use of fish holds (used both for fish and diesel fuel) and have inadequate implementation of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points plans and temperature recording conditions. Deficiencies noted by inspectors were not always followed up and corrected, calling into questions the ability of the Competent Authority, the Direction des Industries de Transformation de la Pêche to demonstrate that EU-listed establishments comply with the applicable rules. The mission also found that laboratories are not accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2005, or testing methods for histamine and heavy metals were not included in the scope of the laboratory's accreditation. The Competent Authority acknowledged the findings and committed to correcting the deficiencies found, and subsequently prepared a plan of corrective actions accepted by the Commission.

24. The European Commission DG SANTÉ published the findings of an audit mission conducted in Myanmar in February 2018 in order to evaluate the control systems in place governing the production of fishery products intended for export to the European Union and to verify the extent to which the guarantees and the corrective actions arising from a previous inspection in 2016 had been implemented. The mission found that new and measures have been introduced to improve the enforcement capacity of the competent authority. Correct sampling and analyses for fishery and aquaculture products in the context of the National Residue Monitoring Plan, are now in place and considerable efforts in training of staff have been made. As a result, the control and certification system is considered capable of providing sufficiently reliable guarantees that EU requirements are met, with the exception of identified shortcomings in relation to HACCP implementation in establishments, and control of raw materials. The Competent Authority submitted a plan of corrective actions addressing the deficiencies found.

25. The Commission and Member States discussed findings of levels of fluorine in calcareous marine algae above the maximum level. Following the Commission's request, the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission has examined the data and recommended increasing the current maximum level.

26. The Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed received feedback from the Working Group on Industrial and Environmental contaminants on the maximum levels of acrylamide in food and requirements for sampling and analysis, PAHs in traditionally smoked meat and meat products and fish and fish products, 3-MCPD esters, furan and perchlorate. Discussions will continue. A guidance document on the implementation of Regulation (EU) 2017/2158 of 20 November 2017 on mitigation measures and benchmark levels for the reduction of the presence of acrylamide in food has been prepared and approved by the Committee and will be published shortly by the Commission.

27. The Commission has passed a regulation amending the disease fee status of Croatia for koi herpes virus (KHV) disease and of Finland for infectious haematopoietic necrosis (IHN), due to outbreaks in certain areas. New disease-free areas in Ireland (free of Bonamia ostreae) and in the United Kingdom free of (Marteilia refringens) are also declared.

28. The Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed Section (comprising the Commission and Member States) received information concerning two declarations from Germany on disease free status for viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS) and infectious haematopoietic necrosis (IHN) in two new zones "Oberer Andelsbach bis Mastanlage Pfullendorf der Feldmann & Akrimi GbR, D/8863 Pfullendorf" and of the zone "Brunnentobelbach bis Aquakulturbetrieb Jung, D-88299 LeutkirchBrunnentobel", respectively. It also received two declarations from Slovenia on disease free status for viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS) and infectious haematopoietic necrosis (IHN) of the independent compartment " Obrh" and of the zone "Sava Dolinka", respectively, and one declaration of a surveillance programme for VHS and IHN of the zone "Rižana".

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