1. The European Commission proposed amendments to the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund 2014-20 (EMFF) to allow for additional measures to support the EU fishery and aquaculture sectors due to disruption following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The measures comprise financial compensation for additional costs, for income forgone and for the storage of products, as well as for the temporary cessation of fishing activities where they are currently unsafe.
2. Following agreement between the EU and the UK on the (TACs) for 2022 for shared and straddling stocks listed in Annex 35 to the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the UK, the EU has published the definitive TACs and quotas applicable to EU Member States in 2022.
3. European MEPs expressed concern about the UK's unilateral and allegedly protectionist measures to limit fishing licences for EU vessels in the Crown Dependencies. They urged the UK to refrain from further controversial actions and called on the EU to consider limiting the UK's access to EU ports or restricting the import of fisheries products.
4. Norway and the EU reached a political understanding in
relation to the fisheries in the Northeast Arctic, in ICES
subareas 1 and 2 which includes the waters around the archipelago
of Svalbard and the international waters of the Barents
Sea (subarea 1 and division 2b). The parties agreed the
TACs for cod, redfish, haddock and Greenland halibut. The
EU Subsequently set the 2022 EU TAC (19,636 tonnes for cod,
Gadus morhua) and the associated additional permitted
bycatch of up to 14% of haddock.
5. The EU has made changes to the 2022 TACs and quotas for
blue and red shrimp (Aristeus antennatus) and giant
red shrimp (Aristaeomorpha foliacea).
6. A stop fishing notice was published by the Commission due to exhaustion of quota by all EU vessels fishing for redfish in the NAFO 3M area.
7. The EU authorised the signature of the extension of the Protocol under the EU-Mauritius Fisheries Partnership Agreement, for a period of 6 months from 1 January 2022 for half of the annual compensation (pending the completion of the negotiations).
8. The European Market Observatory for Fisheries and Aquaculture Products published a case study on the production and market for meagre in the EU. The main producer in 2019 was Egypt (26.355 tonnes, mainly farmed production) followed by the EU 10.262 tonnes, also mostly farmed).
9. EUMOFA publishes monthly edition with items on angler (monkfish), blackspot seabream (Italy, Portugal, Spain), consumption of octopus in Italy and Spain
and case studies on fisheries and aquaculture in Ecuador and squid in the EU.
10. DG MARE has published the findings of an online questionnaire survey on the functioning of the CFP which aimed to identify evidence of successes and shortcomings of the CFP as well as good practices, innovative tools, or processes implemented by stakeholders and Member States which can strengthen implementation. The answers are analysed for each of 40 questions addressing all aspects of CFP measures.
11. At the Our Ocean Conference (OOC) in Palau, the EU renewed its pledges towards international Ocean governance by presenting a list of 44 commitments for the 2020-2022 period valued at almost EUR1 billion. These included commitments on marine protected areas; tackling marine pollution; confronting the ocean-climate crisis; creating sustainable blue economies; advancing sustainable small-scale fisheries and aquaculture; and achieving a safe, just and secure ocean. Virginijus Sinkevicius, Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, emphasised that: "The ocean is bringing all these benefits to us and we need to protect it. Our future depends upon it."
12. The Commission amended the regulations concerning the
introduction of alien and locally absent species to minimise
the possible impacts on non-target species on aquatic habitats.
Pagrus major (red seabream) is added to the list
of alien species used in aquaculture for a long time and
which thus benefit from differential treatment.
13. In Italy, the Coast Guard seized 27 tonnes of seafood products illegally fished or without the necessary traceability documentation. In France (Antilles-French Guiana) naval patrol boats seized 4.5 tonnes of illegally caught fish, including protected species of sharks and rays.
14. Fabrizio Donatella, formerly of DG MARE of the European Commission, was elected as the new Chairman of Board of the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA). The Board has also adopted EFCA's 2021 Annual Report.
15. DG MARE has published a new poster illustrating all of the Regional Fisheries Management Organisations of which the EU is a member.
16. During April 2021 there were 31 rapid alert notifications for fishery products. There were 7 rapid alert notifications for bivalve mollusc products, 2 rapid alert notifications for cephalopod products, 4 rapid alert notifications for crustacean products, 16 rapid alert notifications for other fishery products and 2 rapid alert notifications for gastropod products. These included 4 consignments of oysters from France.
17. The Commission amended Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 as regards maximum levels of mercury in fish and salt following the advice of the European Food Safety Authority. The maximum levels for mercury in various fish species is lowered, but the level of mercury for shark and swordfish is maintained at the current level, pending further data collection and scientific assessment. The EU has also adopted the Codex Alimentarius maximum level of 0,1 mg/kg for mercury in salt.
18. The Commission amended Regulation (EC) No 333/2007 concerning the provisions for the incremental sampling of relevant parts of large fish arriving in large lots, redefining the sampling lot and sample treatment on reception by the testing laboratory.
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