FishFilesLite Newsletter
December 2022

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Common Fisheries Policy

1. NEAFC coastal states agree on 2023 joint management of shared stocks in 2023.
2. EU, Norway and UK agree on joint trilateral management of North Sea stocks
3. EU and UK agree on 2023 TACs and quotas for fish stocks shared bilaterally
4. EU fisheries ministers agreed on 2023 and 2024 TACs and quotas
5. The EU adopted the TACs and quota regulation for 2023 and 2024
6. EU Fisheries Ministers agree fishing opportunities for Black Sea 2023
7. Commission amends landing obligation exemptions for Mediterranean fisheries
8. Commission reduces minimum permitted size of Italian venus clams
9. Commission amends technical measures for Nephrops in Westerm waters
10. Commission renews coastal fishing derogation for shore seining in France
11. Commission renews coastal fishing derogation for certain French trawl vessels
12. Commission sets quotas deductions due to overfishing by some EU states
13. EU adopts IOTC measures; delegates future decisions to Commission,
14. EU renews derogations on exclusivity of territorial waters of EU States
15. Stop fishing notices published for herring and saithe in North Norway.
16. EU ratifies EU and Mauritius Fisheries Protocol; allocates opportunities
17. EU Parliament seeks preferences for small scale fishers in quota allocation
18. EMFAF subsidy plan for Belgium 2021-2027 adopted (EUR 40 million)
19. EMFAF subsidy plan for Denmark 2021-2027 adopted (EUR 201 million)
20. EMFAF subsidy plan for Estonia 2021-2027 adopted (EUR 97 million)
21. EMFAF subsidy plan for Greece 2021-2027 adopted (EUR 364 million)
22. EMFAF subsidy plan for Ireland 2021-2027 adopted (EUR 142 million)
23. EMFAF subsidy plan for Latvia 2021-2027 adopted (EUR 135 million)
24. EMFAF subsidy plan for Poland 2021-2027 adopted (EUR 512 million)
25. EMFAF subsidy plan for Portugal 2021-2027 adopted (EUR 393 million)
26. EMFAF subsidy plan for Romania 2021-2027 adopted (EUR 162 million)
27. EMFAF subsidy plan for Slovenia 2021-2027 adopted (EUR 24 million)
28. EU project STARFISH 4.0 develops VMS for small scale vessels
29. EUMOFA publishes study on price structure in EU mussel sector
30. DG MARE issue press release on EUMOFA EU Fish Market 2022 report
31. Parliament calls for focus on small scale in EU blue economy strategy
32. New fisheries conservation measures in 8 protected areas of North Sea
33. EU finance for seahorse project in the Ria Formosa lagoon, Portugal
34. EU supports extension of UNCLOS principles to international waters
35. EU Parliament publishes study by Pauly on impacts of Chinese fisheries

Fish Hygiene

36. Rapid alerts were notified for 43 consignments of fishery products
37. DG SANTÉ reports on audit in Finland; no controls in production
38. Commission revises rules on 3rd country listing for farmed animal supply
39. Separate control plans to be required for drugs, pesticides & contaminants
40. Commission amends controls and certification for non-filter feeding shellfish
41. New freshness test methods adopted by Commission super-chilled fish
42. European Commission publishes latest edition of the food fraud newsletter.

Common Fisheries Policy

1. The Council issued a press release on the conclusion of consultations with the north-east Atlantic coastal states and trilateral consultations with the United Kingdom and Norway on the joint management of shared fish stocks in 2023. These deals set total allowable catches (TACs) in line with the best available scientific advice from ICES. The agreements covers the joint management of mackerel, blue whiting and Atlanto-Scandian herring stocks. For mackerel, the TAC for 2023 was set at 782,066 tonnes (-2% on 2022) and for blue whiting, the TAC has been set at 1,359,629 tonnes (+81% on 2022 TAC). For Atlanto-Scandian herring the TAC is set at 511,171 tonnes (-15% on 2022 TAC).

2. The EU also reached an agreement with the United Kingdom and Norway on the joint trilateral management of six key stocks in the North Sea: cod, haddock, saithe, whiting, plaice and herring. Cumulatively, the agreement provides over 300,000 tonnes of fishing opportunities for EU fleets for these stocks in 2023.

3. The EU and the United Kingdom concluded an agreement on the fishing opportunities for 2023 for fish stocks shared bilaterally in the Northeast Atlantic, and for certain deep-sea stocks for 2023 and 2024. The agreement applies to more than 74 shared stocks and sets fishing opportunities (TACs) and shares (quotas) for EU and UK fishers. TACS were decreased for common sole, haddock, herring, horse mackerel and plaice. Increased TACs were provided for cod, greater silver smelt, megrims, Norway lobster, plaice and whiting. EU quotas amount to 350,000 tonnes worth around EUR1 billion. The deal closes the third annual consultations on fishing opportunities under the terms of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). The Agreement does not provide reciprocal access to fish own quota, except for albacore tuna, a species with limited relevance for the parties in this region. A quota transfer mechanism foreseen in the TCA is not yet established in detail, although principles have been discussed. The Parties will also hold in-year consultations during 2023 for three other jointly managed stocks, for which the scientific advice does not align with the calendar year: sprat (North Sea and the English Channel) and sandeel (North Sea, all banks).

4. Following two days of negotiations, the AGRIFISH Council of EU fisheries ministers set the fishing opportunities for 2023 for the fish stocks exclusively managed by the EU in the Atlantic Ocean, Kattegat and Skagerrak, including deep-sea stocks for 2023 and 2024. This includes 27 total allowable catches (TACs) for the fisheries operating on stocks managed solely by the EU, as well as strengthened measures to address the critical state of eels. The Council also set TACs for stocks shared trilaterally with Norway and the UK, following a successful conclusion of the consultations.

5. The European Council issued a press release on the adoption of the EU's TACs and quota regulation for 2023 and 2024. Amongst other changes, the regulation will reduce catch limits applied to Norway lobster and sole. Following the positive scientific advice and the improved state of the stocks, Ministers agreed to increase the catch limits for megrims, anglerfishes, whiting and Southern hake in certain areas. Horse mackerel TACs in Portuguese waters are increased by 15%. For deep-sea stocks, targeted fisheries remain prohibited for roundnose grenadier in the Skagerrak and Kattegat, and there is a 4% reduction for red seabream in Atlantic Iberian waters.

6. EU Fisheries Ministers also agreed fishing opportunities for 2023 for the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. European Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevicius welcomed the agreement, saying "This agreement translates the success of the adoption of the five new multiannual management plans (MAPs) by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) into our EU fishing opportunities."

7. The Commission amended the arrangements for de minimis exemptions to the landing obligation for certain demersal fisheries in the Adriatic and south-eastern Mediterranean. Fishers in Croatia, Italy, Slovenia, Greece, Italy, Cyprus and Malta are exempted from the requirement to land by-catches of small pelagic fish made in demersal fisheries, due to the disproportionate cost and inconvenience of handling relatively small quantities of mixed species catches. The exemption is applied for 2023 to anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus), sardine (Sardina pilchardus), mackerel (Scomber spp.) and horse mackerel (Trachurus spp.), up to a maximum of 5 % of the total annual by-catches of those species caught by vessels using bottom trawls.

8. The Commission adopted a regulation extending the derogation to the minimum conservation reference size of Venus shells (Ruditapes decussatus) in Italian territorial waters. The measure is considered by the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) to be consistent with the objective of ensuring the protection of juveniles. Therefore, the minimum conservation reference size of Venus shells (Venus spp.) shall be 22 mm in the Italian territorial waters (cf. to 25mm elsewhere). The derogation is extended until 31 December 2025.

9. The Commission has amended the technical measures for certain demersal and pelagic fisheries in the Celtic Sea, the Irish Sea and the West of Scotland. The regulation follows joint representations from relevant Member States and amends the technical specification of the cod-end in the Nephrops fishery, with the aim of reducing by-catch of cod and whiting in the Celtic Sea and adjacent areas. The regulation applies to operators of bottom trawls or seines vessels with catches comprising more than 30% of Norway lobster.

10. The Commission has further extended the derogation to the requirement regarding the minimum distance from coast and depth for shore seines fishing in certain territorial waters of France. The derogation was introduced in 2014 and permits certain small-scale operators to use inshore seine nets in coastal waters of Occitanie and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. The advice of the STECF is that the shore seine fishery has no significant impact on the marine environment (with total annual catches by 17 vessels of only 2 tonnes for the 8 species concerned).

11. The Commission has further extended the derogation to the requirement regarding fishing above protected habitats and the minimum distance from coast and depth for 7 active small scale "gangui" trawl fishing vessels operating in certain territorial waters of France (Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur). The derogation was introduced in 2014, and concerns of the STECF regarding the weight of the trawl doors damaging the benthic environment (particularly to sea grass beds of Posidonia oceanica) have been addressed by the application of a maximum weight restriction by French authorities. The derogation is extended to 11 May 2024.

12. The Commission has adopted a regulation setting deductions from fishing quotas available for certain stocks in 2022 (or alternative opportunities where quota for the original species is not available) on account of overfishing of other stocks in the previous years. Germany, Denmark and Netherlands were all guilty of significant overfishing of herring in UK and North Norway waters in previous years.

13. The EU has adopted a regulation concerning conservation and management decisions of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) and their application in EU law. The regulation delegates decisions on implementation of IOTC measures to the Commission, re-states and consolidates previous measures and brings them up to date with IOTC decisions. Definitions are restated, the discard ban is codified fully into EU law, fishing near data buoys is prohibited, special measures are put in place for turtles, marine mammals, sharks and billfishes, the ban on use of aircraft and lights in fishing is maintained, conditions on the use of fish aggregating devices are applied and transhipment requirements defined.

14. The EU has renewed for a further 10 years the derogations on the exclusivity of the territorial waters of EU Member States, which expired at the end of 2022. The measure will ensure that traditional fisheries which have been conducted in the territorial waters of other EU countries may continue to be pursued, subject to the bilateral arrangements. However, provisions in bilateral relations between EU Member states and the UK will be reviewed before 30 June 2026.

15. Stop fishing notice has been published by the Commission due to exhaustion of quota by vessels fishing for saithe and herring in Norwegian waters, Portuguese vessels fishing for undulate ray and Italian vessels fishing for giant red shrimp.

16. The EU agreed to ratify the Protocol implementing the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and the Republic of Mauritius, initialled on 7 May 2022. Signature of the new four-year Protocol took place on 21 December 2022, from which date the text applies provisionally. The reference tonnage is 5,500 tonnes of Annex 1 species per year. The financial contribution includes (a) an annual amount for access to Mauritius waters of EUR 275,000; (b) a specific amount of EUR 275,000 per year for the support and implementation of Mauritius's sectoral fisheries policy; and (c) an additional amount of EUR 175,000 per year to support the development of maritime policy and the blue economy in line with the objectives of the Protocol. The Council adopted a regulation setting out the allocation of the fishing opportunities under the new Protocol implementing the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and Mauritius. The opportunities are allocated to 40 purse seine and 45 surface longline vessels from Spain, France, Italy, and Portugal.

17. The European Parliament adopted a resolution on 7 June 2022 regarding the implementation of Article 17 of the Common Fisheries Policy Regulation, which addresses the allocation of fishing opportunities by Member States. The Parliament expresses concern over a lack of objective and transparent criteria in quota allocations applied by Member States and notes that these have never been studied by the Commission. The regulation requires that the allocation must be based on objective and transparent (i.e. published) criteria, including those of an environmental, social and economic nature. Although current allocation methods are correctly based largely on historical rights, the resolution also indicates that the criteria do not fully reflect social and economic nature of artisanal and traditional fisheries operators who should receive special attention and treatment, including ad hoc quotas, especially in the event of an increase in overall stock quantity due to good stock management, or a successful recovery plan. Parliament also calls on the Commission to start infringement procedures against Member States that are not respecting their obligations in terms of transparency on the allocation of fishing opportunities.

18. The Commission adopted the plan submitted by the Government of Belgium for the disbursement of subsidies from the EU valued at EUR 40.3 million for the period 2021-2027, under the EU's Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund. The total financial allocation for the period 2021-2027 is EUR68.3 million. The programme will contribute to sustainable fisheries (including 31% for control and data collection), 32% will be invested in sustainable aquaculture and in processing and marketing, and 5% will be dedicated to sustainable blue economy in the coastal region, all contributing to the EU's environmental and climate objectives.

19. The Commission adopted the plan submitted by the Government of Denmark for the disbursement of subsidies from the EU valued at EUR 201 million for the period 2021-2027, under the EU's Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund. The total financial allocation for 2021-2027 is EUR287 million. Denmark will dedicate 86% of the programme allocation to sustainable fisheries and the conservation of aquatic biological resources. The remaining 8% of the programme allocation will be invested in sustainable aquaculture and in processing and marketing.

20. The Commission adopted the plan submitted by the Government of Estonia for the disbursement of subsidies from the EU valued at EUR 97 million for the period 2021-2027, under the EU's Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund. The total financial allocation for the 2021-2027 is EUR139.1 million. 34% of the programme allocation will be dedicated to sustainable fisheries and conservation of aquatic biological resources, 38% will be invested in sustainable aquaculture and in processing and marketing of fisheries and aquaculture products, and 22% will be dedicated to sustainable blue economy in coastal areas, all contributing to the EU's environmental and climate objectives.

21. The Commission adopted the plan submitted by the Government of Greece for the disbursement of subsidies from the EU valued at EUR 364 million for the period 2021-2027, under the EU's Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund. The total financial allocation for the 2021-2027 is EUR520 million. 57% of the programme's allocation will be dedicated to sustainable fisheries, 25% will be invested in sustainable aquaculture and in processing and marketing, 13% will be dedicated to sustainable blue economy in coastal, island and internal regions and 2% will be invested in the strengthening of international ocean governance, all contributing to the EU's environmental and climate objectives.

22. The Commission adopted the plan submitted by the Government of Ireland for the disbursement of subsidies from the EU valued at EUR 142 million for the period 2021-2027, under the EU's Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund. The total financial allocation for the 2021-2027 is EUR258 million. 50% of the programme allocation will be dedicated to sustainable fisheries and conservation of aquatic biological resources, 36% will be invested in sustainable aquaculture and in processing and marketing, 6% will be dedicated to sustainable blue economy in coastal areas and 2% will be invested in the strengthening of international ocean governance, all contributing to the EU's environmental and climate objectives.

23. The Commission adopted the plan submitted by the Government of Latvia for the disbursement of subsidies from the EU valued at EUR 135 million for the period 2021-2027, under the EU's Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund. The total financial allocation for the 2021-2027 is EUR193 million. 35% of the programme's allocation will be dedicated to sustainable fisheries, 37% will be invested in sustainable aquaculture and in processing and marketing, 22% will be dedicated to sustainable blue economy in coastal regions, all contributing to the EU's environmental and climate objectives.

24. The Commission adopted the plan submitted by the Government of Poland for the disbursement of subsidies from the EU valued at EUR 512 million for the period 2021-2027, under the EU's Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund. The total financial allocation for the 2021-2027 is EUR732 million. 42,9% of the programme's allocation will be dedicated to sustainable fisheries, 41,6% will be invested in sustainable aquaculture and in processing and marketing, 9,1% will be dedicated to sustainable blue economy in coastal and inland regions and 0,3% will be invested in the strengthening of international ocean governance, all contributing to the EU's environmental and climate objectives.

25. The Commission adopted the plan submitted by the Government of Portugal for the disbursement of subsidies from the EU valued at EUR 392.6 million for the period 2021-2027, under the EU's Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund. The total financial allocation for the 2021-2027 is EUR540 million. 37.2% of the programme's allocation will be dedicated to sustainable fisheries and the compensation of additional costs in the outermost regions, 35.8% will be invested in sustainable aquaculture and in processing and marketing, 8.6% will be dedicated to sustainable blue economy in coastal, island and internal regions, 12.4% will be invested in the outermost regions and 1.3% will be invested in the strengthening of international ocean governance, all contributing to the EU's environmental and climate objectives.

26. The Commission adopted the plan submitted by the Government of Romania for the disbursement of subsidies from the EU valued at EUR 162 million for the period 2021-2027, under the EU's Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund. The total financial allocation for the 2021-2027 is EUR232 million. 24% of the Union contribution will be dedicated to sustainable fisheries, 47% will be invested in sustainable aquaculture and in processing and marketing and 23% will be dedicated to sustainable blue economy in coastal, island and internal regions, all contributing to the EU's environmental and climate objectives.

27. The Commission adopted the plan submitted by the Government of Slovenia for the disbursement of subsidies from the EU valued at EUR 24 million for the period 2021-2027, under the EU's Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund. The total financial allocation for the 2021-2027 is EUR34 million. 25.6% of the programme's allocation will be dedicated to sustainable fisheries, 32.3% will be invested in sustainable aquaculture, processing and marketing, 38% will be dedicated to sustainable blue economy and 4.1% will be invested in strengthening of international ocean governance. All supported activities will contribute to EU's environmental and climate objectives.

28. The Commission issued a press release about the project STARFISH 4.0, which has developed new technology to address both the issue of sustainability and safety at sea. NEMO is an end-to-end system for managing small-scale fisheries comprising a hybrid, mobile-satellite VMS transceiver, a "Big Data" fisheries monitoring platform, a suite of mobile apps, and a range of services. Following a successful 18 month pilot by 110 local traditional fishers in Greece and Mauritania during, the NEMO system, whose development was financed by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, is now ready to market by CLS of France, the project coordinator.

29. EUMOFA has published a case study on the price structure in the supply chain for mussels in the EU, with a focus on Spain, France, Italy and Ireland. In 2020, the 27 EU Member States produced 430,748 tonnes of mussels, mainly from aquaculture (94% of the total). Apparent consumption was estimated at 537,212 tonnes live weight equivalent (LWE), with an estimated per capita consumption of 1,20 kg. First sale prices varied between 0,70 EUR/kg to 1,70 EUR/kg depending on the species, quality and the country of origin.

30. The Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries issues a press release following the publication of "The EU Fish Market 2022" by EUMOFA. This provides a comprehensive analysis of the global and EU fishery and aquaculture market. The key highlights of the 2022 publication are the continuation of Covid-19 effects on consumption of fish and seafood, ongoing deterioration of the EU trade balance deficit (to 10% of consumption, EUR1.80 billion higher than in 2020) and lowest in supply and apparent consumption in a decade. The publication is available in English, French, Spanish, German and Italian.

31. The European Parliament adopted a resolution regarding the sustainable development of the blue economy in the EU and the role of fisheries and aquaculture sectors. Parliament considers that the fisheries sector, particularly small-scale, coastal and artisanal fisheries, have not been sufficiently taken into account in the EU's strategy for the blue economy. Parliament calls on the Commission, in coordination with Member States, to gauge the specific needs of the fisheries sector in the context of the financing of the blue economy (at sectoral, regional, national, and European level) with a view to realising its growth and job-creation potential. Amongst numerous recommendations directed at the Commission and Member States, Parliament also deplores the lack of monitoring of the implementation and proper use of funding of sectoral support under SFPAs and would like to see this funding linked closely with EU development aid with the aim of improving added value for coastal communities. It also calls on the Commission to proactively publish annual reports on the ways sectoral support is utilised in order to better track the use of EU public money.

32. The Commission adopted a regulation with new fisheries conservation measures to strengthen the environmental protection in six Natura 2000 sites and two national marine protected areas (MPAs) in the North Sea. The new regulation introduces measures for four German (Sylt Outer Reef, Borkum Reef Ground, Dogger Bank and Eastern German Bight) and two Dutch (Cleaver Bank and Frisian Front) Natura 2000 sites, as well as the Frisian Front and Central Oyster Grounds MPAs. The measures aim to protect sensitive seabed habitats, such as sandbanks and reefs, from the impact of mobile bottom contacting gears. In addition, they will also contribute to protecting harbour porpoises and six seabird species by reducing their bycatch in gillnets and entangling nets.

33. The Commission has publicised a project in the Ria Formosa lagoon in southern Portugal, once home to the biggest seahorse population in the world. Only two decades later, seahorse numbers have fallen by more than 90% and the project HIPPOSAVE to help restore stocks is supported by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. The project is implemented by the University of Algarve and supports research into the life history of the seahorses, their environmental and habitat requirements, and seeks to breed seahorses in captivity as well as to promote ocean literacy among local stakeholders.

34. The EU's High Representative Josep Borrell and Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevicius issued a joint statement on the 40th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea which established a legal order and promotes the peaceful uses of the seas and oceans. They used the occasion to call on the European Union and its Member States to remain committed to conclude an international legally binding instrument under UNCLOS on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ Treaty).

35. The PECH Committee of the European Parliament published a study "Role and impact of China on world fisheries and aquaculture". The study, whose lead author is Prof. Daniel Pauly of the University of British Columbia, reviews China's mariculture and marine fisheries with emphasis on the operations of its Distant Water Fleets, the subsidies they receive from their government, their Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated catches and practices, the challenges they represent to international agreements, and to competing fleets from the EU, particularly in six focal countries, i.e., Mauritania, Senegal, Madagascar, Mauritius, Ecuador and the Solomon Islands. The study also analyses trade in Chinese fishery and mariculture products and identifies a risk that the import of fish feed by China may increasingly impact some food-deficient countries.

Fish Hygiene

36. 36. During December 2022 there were 43 rapid alert notifications for fishery products. There were 11 rapid alert notifications for bivalve mollusc products, 3 rapid alert notifications for crustacean products, 30 rapid alert notifications for other fishery products and no rapid alert notifications for cephalopod or gastropod products. These included 2 consignments of clams and 3 consignments of mussels from Italy, 2 consignments of oysters from France and 2 consignments of Atlantic mackerel from Spain.

37. DG SANTÉ of the European Commission undertook an audit in Finland in March 2022 in order to evaluate the food safety control systems in place governing the production and placing on the market of fishery products. The mission found that although the system is organised and supported by extensive and detailed written instructions and guidance, its implementation is hindered by shortcomings, notably concerning weak adherence to the planned inspection frequency by Municipal Food Control Authorities (due to understaffing problems) and an overly positive evaluation of operator shortcomings. Bleeding of fish at aquaculture sites was incorrectly addressed as primary production and relevant hygiene controls were not applied. Furthermore, the mission found that official controls of primary production (fishing vessels and aquaculture farms) were not undertaken, and that sampling and testing for histamine and organoleptic examinations were not in line with requirements of the EU Regulations. Risk-based parasite testing was also not carried out as required. The Central Competent Authority, the Finnish Food Authority, was required to submit a plan of guaranteed corrective actions, subsequently approved by the Commission.

38. The Commission adopted a new implementing, regulation amending the list of third countries with an approved control plan on the use of pharmacologically active substances, the maximum residue limits of pharmacologically active substances and pesticides and the maximum levels of contaminants. New categories of third country are defined (X, P, O and Δ) depending on the status of the submission and degree of compliance. The regulation also consolidates the requirements for the entry into the Union of consignments of food-producing animals and certain goods intended for human consumption from third countries in order to ensure that they comply with requirements concerning residues of veterinary medicines and environmental contaminants. All third countries currently listed in the approved countries list should, in addition to submitting their residue control plans for 2023 and results of testing in 2022, provide the additional information required by the new entry conditions Regulation (see below). The date for submission remains 31 March 2023. The regulation came into force on 15 December 2022.

39. The EU has updated conditions for entry into the EU of products of animal origin from third countries, with a new requirement for specific control plans for residues of pharmacologically active substances, pesticides and contaminants. The revised rules largely reflect the requirements of the now repealed Directive 96/23; however, separate monitoring arrangements and control plans are now required for residues of pharmacologically active substances, pesticides and contaminants.

40. The Commission has adopted a regulation amending and clarifying inter alia the requirements for official controls for non-filter feeding shellfish. The regulation clarifies that the classification of production and relaying areas may be derogated in relation to the harvesting of echinoderm and holothurians which are not filter feeders, in addition to non-filter feeding gastropod molluscs. The Commission subsequently amended the model official certificate and attestation (model MOL-HC) to be used by third countries for the entry into the Union of live bivalve molluscs, echinoderms, tunicates, marine gastropods intended for human consumption.

41. New analytical methods identified by EFSA which are capable of distinguishing between super-chilled fish and previously frozen fish are also introduced in amended official control procedures. These are added to the methods to be applied when the organoleptic examination gives rise to any doubt as to the freshness of the fishery products. The methods related to detection of hydroxyacylcoenzyme A dehydrogenase (HADH), histology, ultraviolet-visible-near-infrared (UV-VIS/NIR) spectroscopy and hyperspectral imaging.

42. The European Commission published the latest edition of the food fraud newsletter. Items concerning fishery products were reported by Italy (Bivalves and tuna without traceability documentation); Hong Kong (crabs without health certificates and smuggled dried seafood), and Colombia (illegal shark fins).

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