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Australia: SIAA new Executive Officer

Published in Asian
Friday, 19 April 2019 01:30

The Seafood Importers Association of Australasia (SIAA) has announced a change to its management, with the appointment of Mark Boulter, who has been the Associations Technical Officer for the last 2 years, as the new Executive Officer. The SIAA, in operation since 1964, is a representative association with 15 members who import more than 50% of the seafood brought into Australia. It represents Members interests in consultative committees, workshops and conferences, and in relevant dealings with industry, government, media and public. It also provides advice to members on government legislation, regulations and policies; and on social responsibility issues. The Association maintains a Code of Conduct and assists members in meeting that code. The Code of Conduct includes many features that could be considered as representing best international practices for seafood trade, including, being qualified to import seafood, ensuring product traceability, handling customer complaints promptly, fairly and diligently, importing safe and sustainably sourced seafood, produced under appropriate labour conditions, and opposing malpractice.

Source: Seafood Importers Association of Australasia

NOAA Fisheries has formally rolled out a web-based screening tool that can flag potentially mislabelled finfish fillets before they hit the seafood aisle. Developed by the National Seafood Inspection Laboratory (NSIL), the Species Substitution & Protein Pattern Matching Tool could help the seafood industry address finfish substitution and fraud. To help maintain the nation’s safe, sustainable supply of seafood, researchers at NSIL developed a lab method and online screening tool that lab technicians can employ to compare finfish muscle proteins against NSIL’s Authenticated Finfish Species Library.

The tool quickly generates a list of species matches ranked from most to least likely-positioning it as a perfect precursor and complement to DNA testing programs. Wholesale and other buyers typically send their fillet samples to third-party labs for DNA analysis when they suspect species substitution. By first screening their samples for common substitutions with the Species Substitution & Protein Pattern Matching Tool, however, these buyers can save time and money, reserving DNA testing for instances when a probable mislabelling needs to be verified.

The US Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory labs currently using DNA testing could also fold NSIL’s tool into their procedures to screen a larger quantity of finfish fillets for common substitutions. The Species Substitution & Protein Pattern Matching Tool is one of many services and resources provided by NSIL. From their offices in Pascagoula, Mississippi, the NSIL team works cooperatively with federal and state agencies, international governments and organizations, and private industry to ensure the safety of seafood for US consumers.

To explore the tool, visit https://speciessubstitution.fisheries.noaa.gov/#/home.

On 31 December 2018, NOAA Fisheries along with Customs and Border Protection officials started an informed compliance period for shrimp importers participating in the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP). SIMP requires importers keep chain of custody data for products entering the United States. It also requires the shipments to come with harvest and landing data to ensure the products are properly labeled.

SIMP began on 1 January 2018, with such products as Atlantic cod, red snapper, swordfish, and tunas requiring the documentation. Despite being the top imported seafood product, shrimp, at that time, was excluded because similar recordkeeping requirements had not been put in place for US shrimpers and producers. A group of 11 US senators pushed to add shrimp into the program last year by including the provision in the Commerce appropriations bill, that President Trump signed into law as part of an omnibus spending package last March.

Source: INFOFISH Trade News, ITN 2/2019

The US government issued its long-awaited final rule on genetically engineered foods, which could pave the way for legal sales of genetically altered salmon. The United States Department of Agriculture’s final rule requires food manufacturers, importers, and other entities that label foods for retail sale to disclose information about bioengineered (BE) food and BE food ingredients. “This rule is intended to provide a mandatory uniform national standard for disclosure of information to consumers about the BE status of foods,” the agency said in the final rule.

The new USDA rule became effective on 21st February - 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. Food processors do not have to comply with the new rule immediately, however. The voluntary compliance date ends on 31 December 2021, and the rule becomes mandatory on 1 January 2022.

More information on this rule can be found here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/12/21/2018-27283/national-bioengineered-food-disclosure-standard

Source: INFOFISH Trade News, ITN 1/2019

Washington State University’s School of Food Science’s Center for Advanced Food Technology has announced the launch of an online Certificate of Proficiency in Seafood Science as from April 2019. The Certificate of Proficiency in Seafood Science provides six courses, each providing its own certificate of completion, that are designed to provide the basics related to seafood science, production, processing, safety, and marketing. This includes all marine, freshwater organisms, whether they are sourced from wild fisheries or aquaculture, and is not limited to finfish. It is designed for individuals that may not have a formal education in food science or seafood but work in the seafood/fisheries/aquaculture sectors.

More information is available from WSU Center for Advanced Food Technology, www.SFS.wsu.edu/CAFT/ and email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

New trawl design leads to improved fish quality

Published in General
Friday, 19 April 2019 01:19

Fish caught in trawls is recognised as being of a significantly poorer quality than fish caught by other methods, such a hook and line, because fish caught in trawl nets are inevitably damaged by abrasion, suffer loss of mucous and scales, and are killed in a highly stressed way (with higher terminal pH in the muscle and a resulting shorter shelf life). Icelandic net manufacturer Hampiðjan has designed a new trawl net which reduces fish density in the cod-end and, with proper monitoring with net sensors, allows for all fish to be brought on deck still alive, whilst smaller fish are allowed to escape. The design of the net uses a cod-end split into four separate sections, with the netting turned through 90° (T90), resulting in larger cross section of the net. The split cod-end reduces movement of fish thus reducing mechanical damage. The net is more selective for larger fish and therefore brings advantages of improved sustainability as well as potential improvements in fish welfare. Sea trials by Icelandic fishing company HB  Grandi showed that quality was significantly improved, even compared to the twin panel cod-ends already widely used in the Icelandic trawl sector.

For more information see https://www.worldfishing.net/news101/products/fish-catching/every-fish-alive.

In March 2019 the US Food and Drugs Authority (US FDA) released additional chapters of the draft guidance “Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration.” The updated guidance expands on methods for conducting the Vulnerability Assessment and explains the training requirements for the regulation. The guidance is designed to help operators to comply with the Food Safety Modernisation Act requirement for food defence measures against intentional adulteration. It should be noted that the requirement is a mandatory condition for any “owner, operator, or agent in charge of a domestic or foreign food facility that manufactures/processes, packs, or holds food for consumption in the United States”. “Very small” and “small” business operators are exempted from the requirement until July 2021 and July 2020 respectively. Others should comply by 26 July 2019. The draft guidance is available at:https://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/ucm610946.htm.

Close monitoring of the radiation levels in fish and seafood in the area of Fukushima Japan has been continuing since the destruction of the nuclear power plant following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. By mid-January 2019, it was more than three years since any product harvested in the area around the plant had exceeded the Japanese government’s limit of 100 Becquerels per kilogram of cesium. In 2018, over 6,000 samples representing about 200 species were tested, and the highest value detected was 51 Becquerels per kilogram. During this time, the last non-compliant sample was last detected in a stone flounder in March 2015, at 140 Becquerels per kilogram.

However, at the end of January 2019, one fish (a skate caught at a depth of 62 meters during test fishing) was analyzed with a level of 161 Becquerels per kilogram.

In October 2017, the WTO ruled in favour of Japan, following Korea’s refusal since 2013 to admit fishery products from
eight prefectures near Fukushima, even though there was no evidence of unsafe levels of radiation contamination. However, some export markets, such as Taiwan and Hong Kong, have maintained a ban on imports of fish from the Fukushima prefecture, citing the risks of nuclear contamination. The Japanese authorities were hoping to have these bans lifted based on the clean sampling and testing record, but this new result casts doubt over the process. The Government had even launched TV commercials advertising farming, fishery, and forestry investments in the Fukushima Prefecture, to dispel lingering consumer suspicions about the safety of the products. Instead they have been compelled to ban the sale of skates from the region and order a new more intense round of sampling and testing. The finding seems to suggest that sporadic release of contaminated cooling water from the site is continuing and that radioisotopes are still entering the food chain, possibly though hotpots where contaminated particles accumulate on the ocean bed. So, eight years after the incident, the risk of radiation is still preventing the recovery of the fishery to its full economic potential.

Source:https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/02/02/national/scienwce-health/limit-cesium-detected-fish-caught-off-fukushima/#.XJ25aLhS_IU.

WSC 2019

Published in General
Friday, 19 April 2019 01:02

The World Seafood Congress (WSC) 2019 cordially invites participants from all over the world to attend the biannual global event which is scheduled to be held on 9-11 September 2019 in Penang, Malaysia. The event is co-organized by Penang Institute and International Association of Fish Inspectors (IAFI).
The conference will be featuring a keynote, oral and poster presentations as well as exhibitions. With the theme “Seafood Supply Chains of the Future”, the conference unites a distinctive and world-class blend of scientists, researchers and leaders both from the scholarly community and industry to trade their information, experiences and research advancements on fish inspection, quality management and technological developments in the seafood sector. It will also address existing and evolving conditions that are critical for the sustainability of fisheries, aquaculture and ocean ecosystems, and demonstrate new innovations and solutions to these challenges.

In addition, there will be travel awards and competitions during the event, which include the following:

Peter Howgate Award will fund the attendance of a
young fish technologist (under 30 years old) to the WSC 2019. The Award will cover travel, accommodation and the congress fee, and this will afford the winning applicant a career-changing opportunity to gain insights and build networks in the global fishery sector. You can visit the website for updates and more information (http://www.peterhowgateaward.com/).

IAFI will give a prize for the best WSC posters. The posters will be judged by IAFI board members in the early stage of the conference and the winners will be announced at the start of a plenary session later in the event. Prizes will be given out as First Prize: $500; Second Prize: $300; and Third Prize: $200. For further information about the poster guidelines please visit http://wsc2019.com/registration/abstract_format.

The International Association for Women in Seafood Industry (WSI) launches the second edition of the "Women in Seafood" video competition, with the technical support of MATIS, Iceland and the sponsoring of the French Development Agency (AFD) and the International Association of Fish Inspectors (IAFI). The video can be shared in a short film (less than 4 minutes) featuring woman involved in the seafood industry. For more information, kindly visit this link https:// womeninseafood.com/. The prize is a ticket to attend WSC 2019, the shortlisted finalists’ videos are to be shown in one of the WSC sessions and the winner will be announced. For more information about the event, visit https://wsc2019.com/.

FFIAF/C942 Revision 3 (En) Authored by Simon Funge Smith and published by FAO (2018),

The FAO Fishery and Aquaculture Circular C942 Revision 3 (C942 Rev. 3) updates and expands the scope of previous revisions of the circular and is an important baseline document, intended to assist in the global understanding of inland fisheries and inform dialogue on their current and future role.

The third revision reviews the status and trends of inland fisheries catch at global, continental and subcontinental levels. It places inland capture fisheries in the context of overall global fish production, and calls attention to the importance of inland capture fisheries with respect to food security and nutrition and the Sustainable Development Goals. It quantifies global inland fisheries resources in terms of food production, nutrition, employment, economic contribution with respect to those countries/regions or subnational areas where they are important.

A characterization approach to distinguish large-scale and small-scale fishing operations and their relative contributions is provided. The review provides estimated economic values of inland fisheries, as well as a valuation of potential replacement cost of these (in terms of dollars, other resources such as land and water, feeds). There is also an analysis of the extent and economic value of recreational inland fisheries. The contribution to employment and the gender differences related to this are quantified. The linkages between inland fisheries and biodiversity are also explored.

C942 Rev. 3 discusses ways to measure and assess inland fisheries, in particular, how to establish more accurately inland fishery catches in the many situations where there are challenges to collection of catch statistics.

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About INFOFISH

INFOFISH is the leading source of marketing support for fish producers and exporters in the Asia-Pacific - a region which includes some of the largest fishing nations in the world.

Its activities include bringing buyers and sellers together, publication of current and long-term marketing information and operation of technical advisory and specialized services.

In addition to organizing exhibitions, conferences, workshops, seminars and training programs, INFOFISH undertakes consultancies on all aspects of fisheries - pre-harvest, harvest and post-harvest.

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