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The United Nations- FAO, the Holy See, ILO, and partners celebrated the 3rd World Fisheries Day together at Rome, Italy. With the theme of ‘Social responsibility in the fisheries value chain’, the focus was on ensuring social sustainability throughout the long and complex value chains of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors. The message was that from developed countries to the developing countries, human and labour rights violations have been documented and there are still too many cases of unacceptable practices taking place.

Moreover, World Fisheries Day was founded by the fisherfolk communities in 1998 as a way to celebrate what is for many not only a profession but a way of life. Fish are among the most widely traded food commodities, totaling US$ 135 billion in 2015.

Source: FAO Blue Growth Blog, 21 November 2019.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences (CAFS) agreed to strengthen cooperation and build the capacity and sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture in developing countries. The partnership will advance the transfer of technology and capacity development through the South-South Cooperation and promote joint efforts to advance global sustainable fisheries and aquaculture management, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.

Under the accord, FAO and CAFS will facilitate joint seminars and workshops, information exchange and technology transfers. The partners will support initiatives to promote climate impact mitigation and adaption and help build the resilience of fishers and others working in the sector, while strengthening efforts to increase the regulation and safety of fish products for regional and global trade. South-South - together with Triangular Cooperation which involves third countries and other partners breaks the traditional dichotomy between donors and recipients and has been effective in creating jobs, building infrastructure and promoting trade.

Through this cooperation, FAO has facilitated exchanges of technical experience and know-how by fielding more than 2 000 experts and technicians to over 80 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, North Africa and elsewhere over the past 20 years. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the FAO-China South-South Cooperation Programme (SSC), which has benefited more than 70 000 people directly in 12 developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

Source: en/c/1256220/, 16 December 2019.

Blue Innovation a fisheries innovation fair was organized by the symposium partners during International Symposium on Fisheries Sustainability 18-21 November 2019 at FAO in Rome. Ocean sourced materials like fish skin leather, fish bones, and algae can be used to produce fashion stuff, medicine for wound healing and skin regeneration and to develop alternative packaging material. Drone technology will be an effective option to fight IUU fishing and manage MPAs in the near future.

Founder of Victorian Foods explained that they use the skins of Nile perch fished from Lake Turkana, the world’s largest desert lake, in Kenya to produce purse, wallet and shoes and etc.

New Zealand longline fishers have hailed the approval of the United Kingdom-designed Hookpod, a device designed to prevent sea bird bycatch.

The Hookpod is a device that has been tested to be effective in eliminating the bycatch of albatross and other sea birds, without having a negative effect on target species catch rate in the surface longline fishing industry. In a press release, Hookpod lauded New Zealand’s approval of the use of the device as an alternative to streamers, weights, and night-setting. The Ministry of Primary Industries approved Hookpod as a stand-alone alternative the release said.

The Hookpod works by covering the point and barb of the hook during line setting. The hook will only be released at a depth of 20 meters by means of a patented pressure-release system. Releasing the hook in deeper water keeps it out of diving depth for albatross and other seabirds, saving them from potential bycatch deaths.

The Hookpod has been the result of various trials in collaboration with fishermen and the Albatross Task Force of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, working on behalf of BirdLife International.

Source: Seafood Source, 27 December 2019

The Pew Charitable Trusts calls on the Commission to fulfill this responsibility by taking the following actions at its 16th annual meeting from 5-11 December in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Moreover, The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) is responsible for the long-term conservation and management of highly migratory fish stocks, including tunas and sharks, in the western and central Pacific Ocean.

• Advance the creation of harvest strategies to support sustainable fisheries

• Reject catch increases in Pacific bluefin tuna and support progress on a precautionary harvest strategy

• Adopt measures that support the recovery of oceanic whitetip sharks

• Strengthen protections on vulnerable manta and Mobula rays

• Strengthen port State Measures to fight illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing

• Encourage States to obtain IMO numbers for vessels to improve oversight of fishing

• Improve transshipment regulations to ensure legal and verifiable seafood supply chains

• Adopt a minimum standard for electronic monitoring and move towards 100 percent observer coverage

• Strengthen the compliance monitoring scheme to improve its effectiveness


Source: The PEW Trust News, 18 November 2019.

Edited by Chis Noble, Kristine Gismervik, Martin H. Iveren, Jelena Kolarevic, Jonathan Nilsson, Lars H. Stien and James F. Turnbull (November 2018)

Fish welfare is a key issue in commercial aquaculture and is central to many decisions that farmers take during their daily husbandry practices and longer-term production planning. It is also a prominent topic for animal welfare NGO’s and charities, regulatory bodies, policymakers, and consumers. Fish farmers increasingly are required to implement fish welfare practices in their production systems and daily husbandry. This can present a serious challenge, as the current tools available for measurement may not be suitable for all species or all life stages.
A new publication from Norway, the FISHWELL welfare indicator handbook brings together a farm-friendly toolbox for this purpose. Operational Welfare Indicators (OWIs) and Laboratory-based Welfare Indicators (LABWIs) for use on fish farms in different production systems and husbandry routines. It also includes advice on their implementation and interpretation. This handbook is published by the Norwegian Seafood Research Fund (Fiskeri-og Havbruksnaerigens Forskningsfond, FHF). The project group included a diverse range of welfare scientists and veterinarians from NOFIMA, the Institute of Marine Research, Nord University, the Norwegian Institute and the University of Stirling (UK). The handbook can be downloaded at no cost through the following website:

The EU Reference Laboratory for Listeria monocytogenes has prepared an amendment to its Technical Guidance Document for conducting shelf-life studies on this hazard in ready-to-eat foods. The changes concern the storage temperature of the test units at the retail level to conduct a challenge test assessing the growth potential of Listeria monocytogenes. The draft amendment was endorsed by the European Commission and the Member States.

Source: Megapesca Lda FishfilesLite Services

EU: Meeting of EU Food Fraud Network

Published in European
Friday, 19 April 2019 01:44

The European Commission hosted the November 2018 meeting of the EU’s Food Fraud Network including the European Commission, Joint Research Council, OLAF (the EU’s Anti-fraud Office) and EUROPOL. The meeting was presented with updates on major food frauds in the EU in 2018, including two concerning fishery products. The first concerned the identification of intentional misuse of antibiotics (nitrofurans) by several Vietnamese shrimp producers, identified through the official controls at EU borders and on the market, and disseminated by the EU’s RASFF system. The issue led to several export establishments having their authorizations withdrawn by the Vietnamese Competent Authority. The second concerned the illegal treatment and use of brine frozen tuna intended for canning for supply to the fresh tuna market, covered in the previous edition of The Fish Inspector. The case, codenamed Operation Tarantello, concluded with a total of 79 arrests by the Spanish authorities in October and November 2018, coordinated by EUROPOL, with several prosecutions underway.

At the meeting, it was also noted that the Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems (CCFICS) is working on a new definition of food fraud. The Joint Research Council EC Knowledge Centre for Food Fraud and Quality also held a Technical workshop on food Fraud in December 2018. The next meeting of the Food Fraud network will be held in April/May 2019.

Source: Megapesca Lda FishfilesLite Services

India has raised concerns about the rejection of its shrimp shipments by the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) for alleged use of banned antibiotics such as chloramphenicol or nitrofurans, often used by producers to prevent disease outbreaks. According to the president of the All India Shrimp Hatcheries Association, the highly sensitive test protocols cannot differentiate if the residue detected is from the usage of antibiotics or background signal emanating from the extremely low level of antibiotics or compounds existing in the environment that mimic those antibiotics. The US FDA refused to allow 26 shrimp entry lines from India into the US in January for banned antibiotics. It had refused 27 shipments in 2017 and 2018. The US is the largest market for Indian shrimp exporters and accounts for about one-third of seafood exports from India.

On the other hand, the European Union is considering testing Indian seafood imports for a wider range of antibiotic residues, following the results of a report that found deficiencies in food
safety control in the South Asian country. Two European Commission committees discussed the report, which was based off a visit made by inspectors in November 2017 in response to mounting concerns in Europe over the number of shipments of Indian shrimp found to contain excessive amounts of antibiotics. The results of the audit were delivered in May 2018. According to the official summary of one of the meetings, European officials are considering testing for a wider range of antibiotic and antimicrobial residues in all aquaculture products imported into the EU from India, including shrimp.

In response to ongoing compliance problems, and in an effort to make the shrimp products free from residues of antibiotic, India’s Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) has initiated a certification programme for the aquaculture farms and hatcheries. As an initial step, a draft guideline for Certification of hatcheries by a committee consisting of the representatives of hatchery operators, aquaculture farms owners, and MPEDA officers was prepared.

The draft scheme with standards, procedures, etc are available in the websites of MPEDA (, RGCA ( and NETFISH ( for a period of 60 days. Suggestions/comments from the stakeholders and the public are invited.

Surimi and fish meal industries seek to prevent illicit catch from entering supply chains. In the 4th quarter of 2018, Pew and other stakeholders held workshops in Bangkok, Thailand, Surabaya, Indonesia, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, aimed at finding ways to prevent illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) seafood from entering their supply chains. Nearly 100 industry representatives attended, ranging from fish meal and surimi feed producers to processors, buyers, and certification standard holders. As buyers and sellers of fish products, the fish meal and surimi industries play an important role in tackling IUU fishing. By working together and using the technology they can track and trace where their products come from.

Most companies are now aware of the risk that IUU-caught seafood might enter their supply chains and have policies in place to mitigate this threat. At the workshops, participants agreed that companies should track and trace their supply chains by identifying the people, product, and process interactions at each stage. At a minimum, the fish species, its origin, and the procurement method down to the originating fishing vessel should be clear and shared.

Workshop participants acknowledged the risk that both IUU fishing and safety and labor issues posed to their supply chains and expressed eagerness to take steps to mitigate such risks. They agreed that regulations are not always effective on their own, and many of the participating companies reported that they have opted to go above national requirements or have obtained seafood certification.


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