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Tuna ‘Bridging Measure’ adopted at WCPFC14

Published in Fisheries
Thursday, 16 August 2018 01:16

 

The 14th session of the Tuna Commission (WCPFC14) held in December 2017, adopted important measures governing tuna fishing activities for 2018 in the Western and Central Pasific Ocean. The most important decision endorsed by the Commission’s 28-member countries was agreement on a ‘Bridging Measure’ for bigeye, skipjack and yellowfin, the largest commercial harvesting activity in the WCPO fishery. This, and other measures endorsed by the Commission become legally binding in February 2018.

As it happened, February 2018 was also the month that the UN FAO released a study which revealed that approximately 60% of the world’ assessed fish stocks are fully exploited and 31% is over-fished.

The WCPO fishery is the world’s largest, producing nearly 60% of the globe’s entire tuna harvest with a catch value estimated at US$4.7 billion in 2015. For the Commission’s largest bloc, the 21 Pacific island countries and territories, a sustainable WCPO fishery is not only important for jobs and economy, it is their main source of nutrition and security.

Source: INFOFISH International 3/2018

 

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 www.megapesca.com

 

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

Overview of Food Fraud in the Fisheries Sector

Published in Publication
Tuesday, 31 July 2018 02:40

 

Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular No. 1165. FAO, Rome, Italy 2018

Fish fraud is committed when fish is illegally placed on the market with the intention of deceiving the customer, usually for financial gain. However, its precise scale and nature in the wider global food market is largely unknown. This publication presents evidence highlighting the serious consequences of fraud for the fish sector. It describes the different types of fraud that can take place along the fish supply chain, for example: intentional mis-labelling, species substitution, over glazing and over breading, and the use of undeclared water-binding agents to increase weight.

This publication shows that combating fish fraud is a complex task that requires the strengthening of national food regulatory programmes and the development of effective, science-based traceability systems and improved methods for fish authenticity testing. It highlights the need for the fish industry to develop and implement systems for fish fraud vulnerability assessment in order to identify potential sources of fish fraud within their supply chains and to prioritize control measures to minimize the risk of receiving fraudulent or adulterated raw materials or ingredients. The publication also indicates an important role for the Codex Alimentarius Commission – to work in collaboration with countries in order to develop international principles and guidelines designed to identify, manage and mitigate fraudulent practices in food trade and to develop guidelines to standardize food safety management systems for fish fraud vulnerability assessment.

Publication Link: http://www.fao.org/3/i8791en/I8791EN.pdf

USA: Marine Mammal Protection Act

Published in North American
Tuesday, 31 July 2018 02:33

 

The US Marine Mammal Protection Act came into force on January 1st 2017, and will require countries exporting fisheries products to the USA to introduce provisions to reduce marine mammal bycatch in their fisheries. The requirement is to establish regulatory programmes for marine mammal conservation that are comparable in effectiveness to the US programme. This may include assessing marine mammal stocks, estimating bycatch, and mitigating that bycatch to levels comparable with US regulatory programs in an analogous domestic fishery.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries has established a 5-year exemption period in order to allow other countries who export fish and fishery products to the USA the time necessary to develop appropriate systems and present the “comparability findings” which will be required for imports from 1st January 2022.

NOAA Fisheries will notify the nations with commercial fishing operations that export fish or fish products to the United States and request that within 90 days of notification that the nations submit information about the commercial fishing operations identified. After the conclusion of the one-time five-year exemption period, any new Country or fishery that has not previously exported to the United States, and that wishes to commence exports, will be granted a provisional comparability finding for a period not to exceed twelve months. After that period, they will be required to have the necessary programmes in place or they will not be permitted to export their products to the USA. Some Countries, notably the UK and Canada, have already made representation to NOAA to clarify their position with regard to aquaculture products and are awaiting an official response.

Source: NOAA Fisheries and Chris Leftwich, IAFI Board Member

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 www.megapesca.com

 

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 www.megapesca.com

 

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 www.megapesca.com

 

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 www.megapesca.com

 

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

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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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