FishFiles Lite Newsletter
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February 2019

Common Fisheries Policy

1. EU Parliament and Council agree on management plan for Western Mediterranean
2. Parliament and the Council agree on long delayed new technical measures regulation
3. EU Parliament publishes on European eel management
4. EU Parliament consents to Fisheries Partnership Agreement with Morocco
5. EU PESCAO project undertakes fisheries surveillance with EFCA support
6. EUMOFA published its latest edition of market information
7. EUMOFA publishes new collations on its website (species and country analyses)
8. Commission grants new tariff quotas for salted snoek (barracuda) from Mauritius
9. DG MARE publishes EMFF success protecting Baltic porpoises and ducks
10. World Bank and EU launch Blue Economy Development Framework tool
11. EUROSTAT launches public consultation on fishery statistics
12. DG MARE publishes new list of all EU designated ports
13. Euronews and DG MARE publish OCEAN TV programme on Thailand's yellow card
14. Commission approves exclusive use of the name Bulot de la Baie de Granville'

Fish hygiene

15. Rapid alerts were notified for 32 consignments of fishery products
16. DG SANTÉ has reports on mission to Turkey; significant improvements since previous audit

Common Fisheries Policy
1. The European Parliament and the Council reached an agreement on the Commission's proposal establishing a multi-annual plan for fish stocks in the western Mediterranean Sea, covering mainly areas that concern France, Italy and Spain. The agreement will introduce a five-year transitional period to progressively decrease fishing mortality towards the target MSY. The main measures include an EU fishing effort regime for all trawl vessels operating in the western Mediterranean and a 3-month closure area for the protection of juveniles. Powers are granted for setting non-discriminatory limits and technical measures for recreational fisheries. Control measures will apply in order to monitor the fishing effort regime. Commissioner Vella said that the agreement was "a momentous leap forward in delivering concrete EU commitment to restore vital fish stocks and prevent a loss of jobs".

2. The European Parliament and the Council came to a political agreement regarding the Commission's proposal for decentralised and simplified technical measures regulation which streamlines the streamline the measures setting how, where and when fishermen may fish, as well as determining the type of gear, catch composition and ways to deal with accidental catches. The approach will give fishermen a stronger say in deciding on the best measures for sustainable fishing adapted to their specific needs. The regulation introduces quantitative indicators to determine the effectiveness of technical measures in reducing unwanted catches of juvenile fish, by-catches of mammals like whales, dolphins and porpoises, and marine seabirds, as well as indicators defining the impact on the marine habitat. Member States are obliged to introduce mitigation measures to avoid by-catches of seabirds, whales, dolphins and porpoises in all sea areas, when justified by scientific evidence. There will also be a ban on the use of pulse fishing gear from 1 July 2021, with a phasing-out period, although Member States may immediately prohibit or restrict the use of pulse fishing within their coastal waters. European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella said: "I am delighted that there has been an agreement on our proposal".

3. The European Parliament Fisheries Committee (PECH) published a study on the Environmental, social and economic sustainability of European eel management. It considers the range of detrimental factors impacting the European eel which pose a challenge for an effective stock management and defines involved stakeholders. The study assesses threats from hydropower generation, fisheries and aquaculture. It revealed not only large knowledge gaps and data deficiencies in European eel management from a biological perspective but also from an economic point of view. The loss of direct revenues linked to a total closure of fisheries in Europe (glass, yellow and silver eels) is estimated to be about EUR 50 million per year. However, losses due to power generation closures would be much higher. It identifies the need for improved knowledge on the economic consequences of single management measures. In the meanwhile, the report recommends moving from the current 40% regional level escapement targets to a mortality-based target in a revised version of an EU Regulation.

4. The European Parliament gave its consent to the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and Morocco. The agreement is valid for 4 years and allocates fishing opportunities for the EU in exchange for an overall financial contribution of EUR208 million. A substantial part of this contribution will be used to promote the sustainable development of the fisheries economy in Morocco and the Western Sahara. Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella said: "The agreement with Morocco that the European Parliament endorsed today is good news for fishers on both sides of the Mediterranean".

5. The EU funded PESCAO project undertook a joint fisheries surveillance operation to detect illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing under the coordination of the Subregional Fisheries Commission (SRFC) and with the technical and human support from EFCA. The operation "Alexandre Baptista" involved cooperation between the authorities of Mauritania, Cabo Verde and Senegal. The five-year EU funded PESCAO project, includes a component aiming to improve the fight against Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing activities in Western Africa, with technical assistance to the SRFC and their member countries provided by the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA).

6. The European Market Observatory for Fisheries and Aquaculture Products published its latest edition, containing articles on Japanese carpet shell and queen scallop, fresh cod in Denmark, Ireland, and Sweden and case studies on the caviar market and saithe fresh fillet in France.

7. EUMOFA has published a number of new publications on its website. "Species profiles" provides main market information and data along the supply chain on the most important species for the EU market. "Country analyses 2018" and "Species analyses 2018" gather all case studies developed in the EUMOFA Monthly Highlights. They provide key market analyses and data about selected species and countries/markets in the EU and worldwide.

8. The Commission has granted a derogation on the rules of origin for salted snoek (barracuda) under HS Code 0305 69 80 imported from Mauritius. The derogation will allow for up to 100 tonnes 2019/2020 of duty-free imports from Mauritius which are originating from another third country. The Derogation is granted under the EU's Economic Partnership Agreement with the Eastern and Southern Africa States.

9. The Commission DG MARE has published it latest news item highlighting EMFF success stories, concerning voluntary protection of harbour porpoises and diving ducks in the Baltic. The project supported implementation of an agreement between German fishermen and the Ministry of Energy, Agriculture and the Environment aimed at improving compliance with gillnet control measures to reduce the catch of cetaceans and seabirds, as well as gathering more data on the extent of interactions.

10. The World Bank and European Commission announced the development of a new tool to guide policy development in the area of the blue economy, the Blue Economy Development Framework (BEDF). The steps include a diagnostic analysis of the economic, social, policy and regulatory environment conditions that could enable or restrict blue growth, leading to development of a roadmap which sets out steps to prepare policy, fiscal, and administrative reforms, identify value creation opportunities from blue economy sectors and identify strategic financial investments. The aim is to help coastal countries and regions to develop evidence-based investment and policy reform plans for their coastal and ocean resources. The Framework tool will be piloted in three coastal countries: India, Vietnam and Kiribati in 2019, prior to roll out in the South Atlantic, South-East Asia, and other Small Islands Developing States.

11. EUROSTAT, the EU's statistical service, has launched a public consultation on its fishery statistics services regarding fish catches, fish landings, aquaculture production and fishing fleets. Stakeholders with an interest are invited to complete an online questionnaire at:

12. The Commission's DG MARE has published an updated list of all EU designated ports where landings and transhipment of fishery products by third country fishing vessels are allowed.

13. Euronews and DG MARE have published the second episode of the OCEAN TV series, which reports on Thailand to see what has changed in terms of governance since the EU issued its yellow card, back in 2015. The yellow card was to warn Thailand that it was being considered as a country which was not cooperating in the fight against IUU fishing. The programme reports that Thailand's progress in improving compliance has been so positive that the European Commission lifted the Thai yellow card on 8 January 2019. The programme is available online at:

14. The European Commission adopted a regulation allowing the use of the name Bulot de la Baie de Granville' (a kind of whelk) as a protected geographical indication.

Fish hygiene

15. During February 2019 there were 32 rapid alert notifications for fishery products. There were 7 rapid alert notifications for bivalve mollusc products, 2 rapid alert notifications for cephalopod products, 1 rapid alert notifications for crustacean products, 22 rapid alert notifications for other fishery products and no rapid alert notifications for gastropod products. These included 5 consignments of monkfish and 2 consignments of live oysters from France, 4 consignments of swordfish and 3 consignments of mussels from Spain, and 2 consignments of smoked salmon from Denmark.

16. The European Commission adopted a regulation allowing the use of the name Bulot de la Baie de Granville' (a kind of whelk) as a protected geographical indication.

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