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Peru: Suspension of imports from Peru extended

Published in Latin American
Tuesday, 31 July 2018 02:32


The European Commission announced that it will extend the suspension of imports from Peru of certain bivalve molluscs intended for human consumption, for a further year, until 30 November 2018. The suspension was imposed in 2008 following an outbreak of Hepatitis A in humans related to the consumption of Peruvian bivalve molluscs. An audit by the Commission Services was scheduled for May 2017, but could not take place at time due to weather phenomenon of El Niño, which affected Peru at that time and impacted on the production of bivalve molluscs. The mission finally took place in September 2017, and its results will be taken into account in future decisions of the Commission.

Source: Megapesca Lda Fishfiles Service


EFSA, the European Food Safety Authority, reported on outbreaks of histamine intoxication which occurred in some EU countries in 2017 linked to consumption of tuna. Fish and fish products were implicated in 20 histamine outbreaks (out of 23 outbreaks amongst a total of 80 where the vehicle could be identified). Of these 5 were related to tuna. Despite detailed follow up in the supply chain of all cases, it was not possible to identify a single event at a specific point in each food supply chain (e.g. incorrect storage at a specific company) that could be considered the origin of all clusters of human cases. The study concluded that due to the nature of histamine and the conditions that favour its production, it is likely that several concurrent factors occurred at several stages along the food chain. With temperature being one of the main factors influencing the production of histamine, it is considered that temperature abuse during post-harvest chilling, storage and/or processing has played an important role in these events.

Source: Megapesca Lda Fishfiles Service


The European Commission has amended the authorized testing methods to be used for the detection of paralytic shellfish poison (PSP) in mollusks. In future, the whole body (or any separately edible part) should be analyzed using the biological testing method or any other internationally recognized method. If the results are challenged, the reference method shall be the so-called Lawrence method as published in AOAC Official Method 2005.06 (Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning Toxins in Shellfish).

Source: Megapesca Lda Fishfiles Service


The European Commission reported that FVO auditors had discovered that certain tuna freezer vessels used tanks destined for freezing and storing tuna fish which were also used as a reservoir for diesel. Once the diesel is used for the engine, the tanks are filled with brine and fishery products that may be exported to the EU. The Commission has informed all countries exporting fishery products of the unacceptability of this practice and requested to stop it immediately. The attention of the EU Member States involved in tuna fisheries was also drawn to this issue.

Source: Megapesca Lda Fishfiles Service


The National Measurement Institute (NMI), the government regulator for weights and measures announced a clarification of its policy on determining the net weight of frozen seafood in retail and food service packaging, after a final consultation with the industry. The policy clarification covers all species of fish, crustaceans and molluscs normally traded, but excludes value-added variations such as marinades and coated seafood products.

NMI advised that the “frozen fish method”, which is sometimes known as the partial thaw method, or Test Procedure 7.9, will be the only method applied to determining the net weight of non value-added seafood. This method does not allow for the product‟s ice glaze to be included in the weight, statement regardless of being listed in the contents or ingredients. Thus a package of shrimp labeled 1 kilogram for instance should contain 1kg of shrimp once partially thawed following the NMI‟s described procedure. The NMI advised that, effective immediately, any complaints about seafood products would be investigated using this approach only. They also advised that in the next financial year, from 1 July, they will conduct a series of targeted compliance/enforcement activities to ensure that this approach is being followed by all parties in the marketplace to maintain a level playing field.

Source: INFOFISH Trade News, No. 8/2018

Food fraud, fisheries products and VACCP

Published in General
Tuesday, 31 July 2018 02:12


In recent months there have been several well publicised cases of food fraud involving fisheries products. In 2017 a joint Europol and Interpol Operation called OPSON VI uncovered 9,800 metric tons of fake and unsafe foods worth more than 230 million euros, including canned sardines in Portugal and molluscs and clams in Spain. A US seafood business in Newport was prosecuted for blending imported crab meat with Atlantic blue crab meat, then labeling the blend as “Product of USA”. Another study found that almost 60% of roasted „Xue Yu‟ fillets, a popular roasted fish product in China, were fraudulently mis-labelled, according to a sampling study using DNA barcoding. Food fraud is a multibillion dollar industry carried out by organized crime as well as individuals who want to make more money from the same resources.

It is now a requirement by all GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) food safety standards, to carry out a food fraud vulnerability assessment of a food manufacturers entire supply chain with a very strong emphasis on ranking raw materials for potential vulnerability. To manage the process of assessing the whole supply chain resources need to be targeted at the weakest or most vulnerable points. The most “at risk” areas include: 1) the supply chain of the ingredients that make up the highest volume of the end product; 2) the supply chain of the “hardest to get” ingredient i.e. one supplier; and 3) the supply chain of the ingredients that your company cannot function without because of legal requirements.

The VACCP (Vulnerability Assessment and Critical Control Points) approach to managing fraud risks differs from food safety controls such as HACCP which aims at the prevention only of unintentional/accidental adulteration. Using a similar method to the standard HACCP Risk assessment, but replacing the Severity score with a Detectability score, key VACCP process steps are: 1) List all raw materials, their country of origin & their suppliers; 2) Undertake the VACCP Risk evaluation: ranking of current suppliers and raw materials & see which of your ingredients come out worst in that ranking. This list is likely to provide the priorities for control; 3) Design an approved supplier questionnaire to obtain information on your suppliers current control measures. This will enable you to rank your suppliers by using the risk assessment methods discussed in this poster; 4) Implement additional control measures as required based on your documented risk assessments of both suppliers supply chains and raw materials; 5) Document procedures and keep records; and 6) Horizon scanning for emerging issues and review regularly.

Source: Clare Winkel, IAFI Board member (currently Executive Manager - Technical Solutions)

COFI 2018

Published in General
Tuesday, 31 July 2018 02:06


The Committee on Fisheries Thirty - third Session was held from 9-13 July 2018, Rome, Italy.

The Committee on Fisheries (COFI), a subsidiary body of the FAO Council, was established by the FAO Conference at its Thirteenth Session in 1965.The Committee presently constitutes the only global inter-governmental forum where major international fisheries and aquaculture problems and issues are examined and recommendations addressed to governments, regional fishery bodies, NGOs, fishworkers, FAO and international community, periodically on a world-wide basis.

COFI has also been used as a forum in which global agreements and non-binding instruments were negotiated.

For more information please refer to

The 41st Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission

Published in General
Tuesday, 31 July 2018 01:53

The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) convened its Forty-first Session, at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in Rome, Italy, from 2 to 6 July 2018. The Session was attended by delegates from 121 Member countries and one Member Organization, and observers of 84 intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including United Nations entities.

Latest development from the Codex Alimentarius Commission specific to the fishery sector are to include: 1) Adoption of the revision of the Code of Practice for Fish and Fishery Products (CXC 52-2003) with regard to Guidance for histamine control, with reservations expressed from few countries about the list of fish species that need to be considered as histamine producers. The list will be kept open until further data support the inclusion of other histamine producing species. The guidance will be published upon completion of the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene (CCFH) work under way on histamine in the Code of Practice for Fish and Fishery Products; 2) Adoption of the new maximum limits (MLs) for methylmercury in fish were adopted, with reservations from several countries that expressed their disagreement with the change from 1 mg/kg for predatory fish to 1.2 mg/kg for all tuna, 1.5 mg/kg for Alfonsino, 1.7 mg/kg for all marlin and 1.6 mg/kg for shark. CCCF had previously agreed to discontinue work on the ML for amberjack and swordfish and to establish an EWG chaired by New Zealand and co-chaired by Canada to prepare a discussion paper on the establishment of MLs for additional fish species. A footnote on the importance on consumer advice was left in the document. The Codex Committee of Contaminants in Food (CCCF) could consider revising the ML for tuna in the light of additional data after three years; 3) Adoption of the revised food-additive sections of the Standard for Canned Salmon (CXS 3-1981); Canned Shrimps or Prawns (CXS 37-1991); Canned Tuna and Bonito (CXS 70-1981); Canned Crab Meat (CXS 90-1981); Canned Sardines and Sardine-Type Products (CXS 94-1981); Canned Finfish (CXS 119- 1981); Salted Fish and Dried Salted Fish of the Gadidae Family of Fishes (CXS 167-1989); Dried Shark Fins (CXS 189-1993); Crackers from Marine and Freshwater Fish, Crustacean and Molluscan Shellfish (CXS 222-2001); Boiled Dried Salted Anchovies (CXS 236-2003); Salted Atlantic Herring and Salted Sprat (CXS 244-2004); Sturgeon Caviar (CXS 291-2010); Fish Sauce (CXS 302-2011) and Smoked Fish, Smoke-Flavoured Fish and Smoke-Dried Fish (CXS 311-2013); and 4) Adoption of the maximum residue levels (MRLs) for amoxicillin (50 μg/kg for finfish fillet, muscle); ampicillin (50 μg/kg for finfish muscle and fillet); lufenuron (1350 μg/kg for salmon and trout fillet).

The Codex Alimentarius international food standards, guidelines and codes of practice contribute to the safety, quality and fairness of this international food trade.

For more information please refer to http://www. detail/en/?meeting=CAC&session=41.

EU yellow card

Published in National News
Wednesday, 24 January 2018 07:09

Vietnam: The EU has warned Vietnam about the risk of being identified as a non-cooperating country in its fight against IUU, by issuing a ‘yellow card’. The decision does not, at this stage, entail any measures affecting trade. The yellow card is considered as a warning and offers the possibility for Vietnam to take measures to rectify the situation within a reasonable time-frame. To this end the Commision has proposed an action plan to support the country in addressing the identified shortcomings. The yellow card was issued by the Commission on the basis of the identified shortcomings, such as the lack of an effective sanctioning system to deter IUU fishing activities and a lack of action to address illegal fishing activities conducted by Vietnamese vessels in waters of neighbouring countries, including Pacific Small Island Developing States. Furthermore, the Commission felt that Vietnam has a poor system to control landings of fish that is processed locally before being exported to international markets, including the EU.

Source: INFOFISH International, 1/2018

India: With cage fishing fast becoming popular across the south Indian state of Kerala, the Fisheries
NATIONAL NEWSDepartment is set to introduce sea cage farming in the state's coastal districts aimed at supporting the fishers there. It is under the Blue Revolution programme jointly funded by the Centre and state government.

The cages will be of 10 m diameter and each unit will be provided with four cages. Seabass (Kalanji) will be bred in each cage.

The CMFRI will be providing technical support for the project as well. Earlier, the sea cage fishing project was successfully tried out in Thiruvananthapuram.

Source: India Express IE, October 03, 2017

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