Key developments in EU fisheries policy in February 2011
Within the framework of the common fisheries policy the following developments have taken place:
Common Fisheries Policy
1. The Spanish overfish mackerel quotas; Commission allows 5 years for restitution, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to MegaPesca.
2. Commission acts against Poland over omission on Marine Strategy Framework
3. Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization reduces jack mackerel TACs
4. Commission extends North Sea and Atlantic cod inspection regime by 1 year
5. Commission extends Baltic cod inspection regime by 1 year
6. Commission publishes study on Mediterranean demersal resources
7. Commission updates guidelines on IUU regulation
8. EU sets new tariff quotas for imports of Icelandic fishery products
9. EU sets new tariff quotas for imports of Saint Pierre and Miquelon fishery products
10. Commission sets level of withdrawal prices for 2011 for certain fishery products
11. Commission sets level of minimum import prices for imported fishery products
12. Commission sets level of standard values for fishery products for non-human consumption
13. Commission sets level of selling prices and compensation for frozen fishery products
14. Commission sets level of private storage aid
15. Commission sets level of carry-over and the flat-rate aid for certain fishery products
16. Total of 8 stop fishing notices published for EU vessels
17. Inland aquaculture to have high priority in CFP reform
18. EU and Seychelles sign a new Protocol to Fisheries Partnership Agreement
19. Commission announces extension of Protocol to EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement
20. EU and Micronesia sign a new Protocol to Fisheries Partnership Agreement
21. EU Council approves start of fisheries negotiations with Mozambique and Morocco.
22. Ireland notifies Commission of subsidies granted to its fisheries sector.
23. Spain notifies Commission of subsidies granted to its fisheries sector.
24. Rapid alerts notified for 28 consignments of fishery products in February 2011
25. DG SANCO finds UK fish health controls in compliance with EU requirements
26. Commission adds Fiji to official list of permitted third country suppliers
27. EU commences legal process for new food labelling law
28. EFSA issues statement regarding the tolerable weekly intake for cadmium
29. Commission publishes links to the national registers of authorised aquaculture businesses
30. Commission considers an application from Gambia for re-listing of three establishments
31. Commission discusses surveillance programmes for Ostreid herpesvirus
32. Commission advises vigilance on vitamin premixes for animal feeds imported from China
33. Commission discusses controls on contaminants in foodstuffs
34. Commission discusses controls on smoke flavourings
35. Commission authorises a sardine peptide product as a food additive for yoghurt
Common Fisheries Policy
1. The Commission has detected inconsistencies in the Spanish data regarding catches from the mackerel fishery in 2010 (though crosschecking data at different stages of the value chain) subsequently corroborated through audits, verification missions and inspections in Spain. The mackerel catch exceeded Spain's quota in the year 2010 by 19,621 tonnes. The Commission has now passed a regulation reducing Spains future quotas to account for the excess catches. However to avoid undue socioeconomic consequences, the restitution of the overfishing amount due will be spread over a period of 5 years, from 2011 to 2015.
2. The European Commission has requested Poland to comply with the transposition into national law of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, which should have been in place by 15 July 2010. If Poland fails to comply, the Commission has threatened to refer the case to the European Court of Justice, which can impose financial sanctions.
3. The 2nd Preparatory Conference for a South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization was held in Cali, Colombia and decided to make a a 40% reduction in the TAC for jack mackerel, to be firther reduced in future. The measure further strengthens the prospects for a new RFMO for the management and conservation of non-tuna resources in the international waters of the South Pacific, and was welcomed by the European Commission.
4. The Commission has extended by one year the 3 year control and inspection programme to ensure the harmonised implementation of the measures laid down for the recovery of cod stocks in the Kattegat, the North Sea, the Skagerrak, the eastern Channel, the waters west of Scotland and the Irish Sea. The measure provides for joint deployment of control resources of Member States.
5. The Commission has extended by one year the 3 year control and inspection programme to ensure the harmonised implementation of the measures laid down for the recovery of cod stocks in the Baltic Sea. The measure provides for joint deployment of control resources of Member States.
6. The Commission has published the final report of a major study on "The 20th Century evolution of Mediterranean exploited demersal resources under increasing fishing disturbance and environmental change", otherwise known as the EVOMED study. The report is available for download.
7. The European Commission has updated its guidelines and handbook on the IUU Fishing Regulation 1005/2008.
8. Following the signing of an Additional Protocol to the Agreement between the EU and Iceland, new annual duty- free tariff quotas have been established for the import into the EU of certain fish and fishery products from Iceland. The new tariff quotas cover a wide range of non-originating fishery products, including nile perch.
9. Following a request from Saint Pierre and Miquelon, the Commission has passed a decision derogating certain non-originating fishery products (certain lobster, smoked mackerel herring and mussel products) consigned from this territory from the Common Customs Tariff on entry to the EU. The derogation was not granted for a number of products requested, since they were considered not to contribute to the development of an existing industry.
10. The Commission has published the withdrawal prices for 2011 for certain fishery products landed by EU fishers, used in the calculation of subsidies to fishers when their products are withdrawn from the market. The Regulation also includes standard conversion factors to be applied when products are landed in a form other than whole.
11. The Commission has published the minimum import prices for 2011 for certain imported fishery products, including herring, redfish, cod, Arctic prawns, coalfish, Alaskan Pollack and haddock. The minimum import prices ensure that withdrawal subsidies paid to fishers when prices fall are not undermined by cheaper imports
12. The Commission has published the standard values for 2011 of fishery products destined for non-human consumption, to be used in the calculation of compensation to be paid on withdrawal from the market for human consumption.
13. The Commission has published the selling prices and level of compensation for frozen fishery products landed by EU fishers, used in the calculation of subsidies to fishers when their products are subject to temporary private storage.
14. The Commission has published the level of private storage aid (one month at EUR 219 per tonne) to be granted when frozen fishery products are subjected to additional storage as a result prices falling below the selling price.
15. The Commission has set the amount of the carry-over aid and the flat-rate aid for certain fishery products for 2011, to be applied as compensation for additional processing and storage costs, when fishery products cannot be sold at or above the withdrawal price (and as an alternative to withdrawal and destruction).
16. A total of 8 stop fishing notices were published for EU vessels, including French (anchovy, hering and cod), EU (blue marlin) and Spanish (black scabbardfish, forkbeards, common sole and Greenland Halibut) fleet segments.
17. Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, discussed inland aquaculture development with Ministers from Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Luxembourg who believe that freshwater aquaculture should be given priority in the context of the future Common Fisheries Policy and its financing instruments. The Commissioner indicated that the promotion of aquaculture, including organic aquaculture, will be given higher priority in the reformed CFP.
18. The Commission announced that the EU and the Government of the Republic of the Seychelles have signed a new Protocol to the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the parties. The Protocol applies from 18 January 2011. The fishing opportunities are based on a reference quantity of 52,000 tonnes/year of tunas, in return for a compensation of EUR 3,380,000 and a specific amount of EUR 2,220,000 for implementation of Seychelles' sectoral fisheries and maritime policies. Fishing opportunities will be provided to the EU for 48 tuna seiners targeting tunas and 12 surface longliners targeting shark and swordfish.
19. The Commission announced that it has adopted a proposal for the extension of the current Protocol of the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement (which expires on 27 February 2011) for a period of one year. The measure is intended to provide a period for re-negotiation of a new Protocol for a longer term. The EU Council will consider the proposal and authorise the Commission to negotiation of a new Protocol.
20. The European Council has adopted the Council Regulation setting out the allocation of the fishing opportunities under the new protocol to the EU-Micronesia Fisheries Partnership Agreement. Opportunities allocated Spain are 5 tuna purse seiners and 12 Surface longliners. One French purse seiner is allowed to fish under the Agreement.
21. The European Council met on 21 February and authorised the Commission to open negotiations on behalf of the European Union for the renewal of the protocol to the Fisheries Partnership Agreements with Mozambique and Morocco.
22. Ireland has given notice to the Commission in relation to subsidies granted to its fisheries sector; two schemes have been launched; subsidies for Aquaculture Innovation and Technology, and for recruitment of business and product development graduates by fisheries business operators.
23. Spain has given notice to the Commission in relation to subsidies granted to its fisheries sector; four schemes have been launched by the regional Government of Valencia, focusing on development of a policy of quality and value enhancement, development of new markets or promotional campaigns for fresh fishery products.
24. Rapid alerts were notified by the Commission in respect of failure to comply with health conditions for 3 consignments of bivalve molluscs, 6 consignments of cephalopods, 1 consignments of crustaceans, and 18 consignments of fish and fish products, including from Vietnam for unauthorised irradiation of 5 consignments (frozen clams, baby cuttlefish, seafood cocktail), Sweden (Swedish caviar roe of herring), China (concerning 3 consignments with carbon monoxide treatment of frozen tilapia) and Morocco (frozen Dentex macrophthalmus, Stromateus fiatola and Trichiurus lepturus, sardines, fish)
25. Report of a mission by the Food and Veterinary Office of DG SANCO to UK in September 2010, with the objective of evaluating the systems in place for the prevention and control of certain diseases with regard to aquaculture animals. The mission considered controls for fish and shellfish diseases including ISA, KHV, BKD, IPN, Marteilia and Bonamia, and concluded that the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, being the Competent Authority have set up a satisfactory system for prevention, control and eradication of aquatic animal diseases in accordance with requirements on aquatic animal health laid down in Directive 2006/88/EC.
26. The European Commission amended Commission Decision 2006/766/EC in order to permit imports from Fiji of fishery products for human consumption. The decision sets out the new list of countries from which the EU will import fishery products for human consumption. The Decision follows a recent report of DG SANCO which found that the controls implemented by the Fijian authority could be considered as being at least equivalent to those set out in EU legislation.
27. The European Council considered the draft regulation on food information to consumers. This new labelling law, will introduce mandatory nutrition declarations in regard to energy value and quantities of fat, saturates, carbohydrates, protein, sugars and salt in foods.
28. EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain has issued a statement regarding the tolerable weekly intake for cadmium, a heavy metal found in some foods.
29. The Commission has published the links to the national registers of authorised aquaculture production businesses and processing establishments in EU Member States. The register includes information on each farm, regarding location, species kept and the health status.
30. The Commission considered an application from the Gambia for the re-listing of three establishments
31. The Commission continued its discussions regarding the introduction of an approved surveillance programmes for Ostreid herpesvirus
32. The Commission asked the Member States for increased vigilance as regards the import of vitamin premixes for animal feeds from China.
33. The Commission discussed setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs as regards the clarification and updating of certain provisions.
34. The Commission discussed the draft Commission Regulation on authorised smoke flavouring primary products to be used in or on foods.
35. The Commission has published its decision regarding the authorisation of the placing on the market of a fish (Sardinops sagax) peptide product, as a novel food ingredient. The product may be marketed as an ingredient for foods based on yoghurt, yoghurt drinks, fermented milk products, powdered milk, flavoured water, and vegetable-based drinks, breakfast cereals and in soups, stews and soup powders.