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WORLDWIDE: French Toothfish Fishers get MSC Certification

WORLDWIDE: French Toothfish Fishers get MSC Certification | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

Under the auspices of the SARPC (Syndicat des Armements Réunionnais de Palangriers Congélateurs or Reunion Freezer Longliner Shipowners Association [1]), French toothfish fishers in the Kerguelen plateau have been granted Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification.


The fishery’s assessment confirmed the sustainability of the fishery and has led to the consolidation of stock assessment methodologies for Patagonian Toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) in the southern Indian Ocean. 


Optimised Resource Assessment


French toothfish fishing zones lie where the cold waters of the Antarctic converge, between the Roaring Forties and Furious Fifties in the south Indian Ocean. The demersal longline toothfish fishery operates in the French Southern and Antarctic Seas (TAAF), in the French Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Kerguelen plateau. The Total Allowable Catch (TAC) is around 5100 T and is divided among the SARPC’s six fishing companies, which operate seven longline vessels. “The French toothfish fishers’ commitment focuses on conserving resources. The assessment for MSC certification improved the collaboration between the Natural History Museum’s scientists, the shipping companies, the authorities and CCAMLR [2].


This work has resulted in greater transparency in setting TACs, increased the frequency of stock assessments and harmonised stock assessment methodology with that of CCAMLR. The other actions set up for the next five years of certification, will ensure that we remain very deeply involved in an approach of continual improvement of our fishery”, explained SARPC’s President, Yannick Lauri.   


Respecting Ecosystems Produces Results  


The Antarctic waters are home to some of the most exceptional ecosystems in the world, which French toothfish fishers are striving to preserve. Fishers actively participate in a great number of scientific and exploratory studies and apply conservation measures set by the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), in particular those concerning the protection of birds, the presence of on-board observers and the monitoring of by-catches.


Of note are the many efforts, which are starting to work, that have been made to reduce the mortality of Grey Petrels – these include setting up weighted branchlines, using devices to scare birds away and compulsory night setting of lines. The fishery has also set up a Progress Plan based on a code of conduct to avoid zones and depths at which boats are likely to catch species other than toothfish.


Edouard Le Bart, Head of the MSC in France, commented “We would like to congratulate the French SARPC toothfish fishers for obtaining the certification, which rewards their sustainable fishing practices and in particular their work to conserve stocks and respect the ecosystem. This assessment is a perfect example proving that as well as recognising sustainable fishing, MSC certification is also  a catalyst for fisheries’ progression, thanks to the active participation of all those involved. We are, therefore, especially proud to count the six SARPC fishing companies among the MSC-certified fisheries from now on.”   

[1] The Reunion Freezer Longliner Shipowners Association (French acronym SARPC) was set up in 2002. It protects the interests of French Toothfish fishers and plays a major role in responsible resource management and protecting the environment.    


The SARPC brings together six shipping companies authorised to fish for toothfish in the French EEZ of Kerguelen and Crozet.    

These shipping companies currently operate seven longliners:

- Armas pêche: Mascareignes III

- Armements Réunionnais: Ile Bourbon

- Cap Bourbon: Cap Horn 1

- Comata-Scapêche: Ile de la Réunion

- Pêche-Avenir: Saint-André

- Sapmer: Albius and Croix du Sud



[2] Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources


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ΕΛΛΑΔΑ: Ενστάσεις από τους αλιείς για το καταδυτικό πάρκο στον «Πνιγμένο»

ΕΛΛΑΔΑ: Ενστάσεις από τους αλιείς για το καταδυτικό πάρκο στον «Πνιγμένο» | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

Το ενδεχόμενο να επιβληθεί απαγόρευση της αλιείας στην περιοχή του Πνιγμένου, στο πλαίσιο της λειτουργίας του χώρου ως καταδυτικού πάρκου, συζήτησαν τα μέλη του Συλλόγου Επαγγελματιών Αλιέων Μεραμπέλλου με την Αντιπεριφερειάρχη Λασιθίου κα Πελαγία Πετράκη, παρουσία και του Αντιπεριφερειάρχη Δημόσιας Υγείας κ. Μανόλη Κλώντζα, του μέλους του τοπικού συμβουλίου κ. Βαγγέλη Μαυρικάκη καθώς και της κας Μαρία Φουντή και κας Ελένη Ψόχιου, υπηρεσιακών παραγόντων από το αρμόδιο τμήμα Αγροτικής Ανάπτυξης.

Από την πλευρά των αλιέων τονίστηκε πως υπάρχει ανησυχία για το ενδεχόμενο απαγόρευσης στη συγκεκριμένη περιοχή, δεδομένου ότι αποτελεί ένα χώρο που έχει αλιεύματα και είναι πολύ σημαντικός για την επιβίωσή τους.

«Στο σημείο αυτό μόνο υπάρχουν αλιεύματα», τόνισαν χαρακτηριστικά, εκφράζοντας την ανησυχία, αν ενδεχόμενη απαγόρευση τους αποκλείσει τη δυνατότητα να ψαρέψουν στην περιοχή. Από την πλευρά του δε ο κ. Μαυρικάκης επικαλέστηκε πρόσφατο νόμο - Οκτώβριος 2014 – που αφορά τη χωροθέτηση καταδυτικών πάρκων, επισημαίνοντας πως όταν υπάρχουν αρχαιότητες οι δραστηριότητες αυτές χρειάζονται απόσταση τρία ναυτικά μίλια.

Βέβαια, μετά τη χθεσινή συνάντηση η κατάσταση μοιάζει να περιπλέκεται στις διαφορετικές προσεγγίσεις για το θέμα και το ερώτημα είναι αν μπορούν να συνυπάρξουν τόσο η αλιεία όσο και η κατάδυση. Το θέμα πάντως αναμένεται να εξεταστεί αναλυτικά απ' όλες τις πλευρές και με όλους τους εμπλεκόμενους φορείς.


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REVISTA: Boletin Asociación Española de Acuaristas - Cuarto Trimestre 2014

El Ajolote - Cría de la Raya Pintada - Acuarios de agua dulce más populares -  Alimento vivo (II) - El Acuario de Dubrovnik - Un coral de agua templada

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ΑΥΣΤΡΑΛΙΑ: Αλιεύθηκε ψάρι 84 ετών

ΑΥΣΤΡΑΛΙΑ: Αλιεύθηκε ψάρι 84 ετών | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

Ένα ψάρι 84 ετών αλιεύθηκε από τον ψαρά Τόνι Λιτλ στα ανοιχτά της πόλης Ώλμπανι της νοτιοδυτικής Αυστραλίας.


Το θηλυκό κοκκινόψαρο του είδους Centroberyx gerrardi πιάστηκε το Νοέμβριο του περασμένου έτους ως μέρος ενός προγράμματος αξιολόγησης της αλιείας της νότιας ακτής της Αυστραλίας, υπό την αιγίδα κυβερνητικών οργανισμών και του Πανεπιστημίου Μέρντοκ.


«Το 2013 χρονολογήσαμε περίπου 18.000 ψάρια σε ένα ειδικό εργαστήριο, με σκοπό την αξιολόγηση της υγείας των αποθεμάτων ψαριών της δυτικής Αυστραλίας», δήλωσε ο Τζέφρι Νόρρις, ερευνητής του κυβερνητικού Τμήματος Αλιείας.


Το εργαστήριο έλαβε δείγματα ψαριών από όλη την νότια ακτή, φιλέτα ή σκελετούς μετά την επεξεργασία τους, και χρησιμοποίησε τους ωτόλιθους, δηλαδή τα οστά των αυτιών, για τον προσδιορισμό της ηλικίας των ψαριών και την εκτίμηση της ηλικιακής κατανομής στους πληθυσμούς τους. Οι ωτόλιθοι εμφανίζουν ετήσιους δακτυλίους ανάπτυξης κατά ένα παρόμοιο τρόπο με τους κορμούς των δέντρων.


Σύμφωνα με τον υπεύθυνο του εργαστηρίου Πίτερ Κόουλσον, οι ερευνητές ανέμεναν να ανακαλύψουν ψάρια μεγάλης ηλικίας αλλά ενθουσιάστηκαν όταν ανακάλυψαν ότι το κοκκινόψαρο ήταν 84 ετών.

Η ανακάλυψη τέτοιων μεγάλων σε ηλικία ψαριών υποδεικνύει υγιή αποθέματα, καθώς τα ψάρια έχουν τη δυνατότητα να ζήσουν ζωές πλήρους διάρκειας.


«Τα κοκκινόψαρα των ορμών είναι μακρόβια με ωοτοκία κάθε έτος», δήλωσε ο Νόρρις. «Ωστόσο δεν είναι ιδιαίτερα επιτυχημένα καθώς βασίζονται σε μία καλή χρονιά κάθε μερικά έτη, επομένως όσο πιο μεγάλα είναι τόσο πιο υψηλή είναι η πιθανότητα να έχουν επιτυχημένη γονιμοποίηση», πρόσθεσε.


Εξάλλου ο προσδιορισμός της ηλικιακής κατανομής είναι σημαντικός για την εξασφάλιση ότι οι κανονισμοί αλιείας είναι αρκετά αυστηροί ώστε να διατηρούν υγιή αποθέματα και να προλαμβάνουν την υπεραλίευση.


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ΕΚΔΟΣΗ: Συλλογή νομικών για την υλοποίηση του Ευρωπαϊκού Ταμείου Θάλασσας και Αλιείας

Τόμος Ι - Όλα τα νομικά κείμενα, τα οποία αφορούν το Ευρωπαϊκό Ταμείο Θάλασσας και Αλιείας σε αυτήν την ενιαία ηλεκτρονική έκδοση (διαθέσιμη σε 24 γλώσσες).


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EUROPEAN UNION: A European action plan for safe and secure seas

EUROPEAN UNION: A European action plan for safe and secure seas | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

EU ministers have backed a set of actions to make Europe's seas safer and to protect the EUs maritime security interests from the threats which it faces.


The Action Plan, part of the EU's Maritime Security Strategy adopted in June 2014, takes a cross-border and cross-sector approach to confronting the seaborne perils which the EU is confronted with. The plan is also central to the EU's commitment to boost the maritime economy since investments in the European maritime domain can only be prosperous if the seas are safe and secure.


The Maritime Security strategy and its action plan is a response to the new threats which continue to emerge in the ever changing global security environment. The criminal smuggling of people, arms, or drugs is now more organised and more international than ever. Illegal fishing continues to be a plight on our oceans whilst terrorism and cyber-attacks are threats we cannot ignore. These trends jeopardize European and global maritime interests, as well as the prosperity and security of citizens at home and abroad.


The action plan, jointly implemented at European and national level, is made up of five key strands of work:


1) Intensifying EU external action – a better use of the tools at the EU's disposal, including strengthened political dialogue and development aid.


2) Shared maritime awareness and surveillance – focus on developing a common information sharing environment.


3) Capability development reinforced - for instance by promoting dual-use technologies. 


4) Working towards a common risk analysis - risk management, protection of critical maritime infrastructure and crisis response will be bolstered.


5) Strengthening maritime security research and training.

The Action Plan covers both the internal and external aspects of the Union's maritime security.  Its guiding principles are a cross-sectorial approach; rules-based governance of the global maritime domain; respect for existing instruments and competences, as well as maritime multilateralism. The implementation of the 130 specific actions foreseen in the Action Plan will be carried out by EU institutions and by EU Member States. 


From the external action perspective, this comprises measures such as engaging with third parties on maritime security matters, further promoting the existing international legal framework, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, contributing to maritime capacity building in third countries, as the Critical Maritime Routes Programme already does, to build on lessons learned as the Contact Group on Piracy off the Shore of Somalia, and to conduct operational activities including missions such as the counter-piracy operation ATALANTA.


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MAGAZINE: Hooked Up - December 2014


This issue sees Angus Gorrie travel to PNG to tame the might black bass. Goshie G gives a rundown on fishing 1770 land based. Pete Morris takes us through the use of imitation prawn lures and Pat Williams provides a guide on fishing with your 4x4.

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ΒΕΛΓΙΟ: Greenpeace, όχι στην υπεραλίευση ναι στη βιώσιμη αλιεία

ΒΕΛΓΙΟ: Greenpeace, όχι στην υπεραλίευση ναι στη βιώσιμη αλιεία | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

Ακτιβιστές της Greenpeace κρέμασαν χθες, έξω από το Συμβούλιο Υπουργών Αλιείας στις Βρυξέλλες, ένα μπάνερ εννιά μέτρων, φτιαγμένο από φωτογραφίες Ευρωπαίων πολιτών που διαμαρτύρονται κατά της υπεραλίευσης.



Με αυτή τη δράση, οι ακτιβιστές της Greenpeace απευθύνονται στον αρμόδιο υπουργό για θέματα αλιείας κ.Καρασμάνη και τους Ευρωπαίους συναδέλφους του, οι οποίοι μέχρι αύριο θα συμφωνήσουν τις αλιευτικές ποσοστώσεις του 2015. Πρόκειται για το πρώτο κρίσιμο τεστ των Ευρωπαίων ηγετών, οι οποίοι καλούνται να αποφασίσουν αν θα αλλάξουν επιτέλους τη ρότα της αλιείας, “ανοίγοντας πανιά” προς την προστασία των θαλασσών μας. Η Greenpeace καλεί τον Έλληνα υπουργό, κ.Καρασμάνη, να προχωρήσει αμέσως στην εφαρμογή της νέας ευρωπαϊκής νομοθεσίας εξασφαλίζοντας βιώσιμη αλιεία από ψαράδες χαμηλής έντασης.

Το 40% των ψαριών στον Βορειοανατολικό Ατλαντικό και περισσότερο από το 90% στη Μεσόγειο υπεραλιεύεται. Παρά τις συνεχείς εκκλήσεις από τους επιστήμονες της Ε.Ε για τη μείωση των αλιευμάτων, οι υπουργοί έχουν επανειλημμένα θέσει υψηλότερες αλιευτικές ποσοστώσεις από τα συνιστώμενα βιώσιμα επίπεδα, κάτω από τις πιέσεις του μεγάλου βιομηχανικού αλιευτικού στόλου της Ευρώπης.


Τον περασμένο μήνα, η Greenpeace δημοσίευσε μία λίστα με 20 «πλοία - τέρατα», μερικά από τα πιο καταστροφικά και υπέρογκα ευρωπαϊκά αλιευτικά σκάφη, ως παράδειγμα του ξέφρενου κυνηγιού, που διαδραματίζεται στις θάλασσές μας, υποβοηθούμενο από ένα άδικο πολιτικό σύστημα που μέχρι σήμερα ευνοούσε τη βιομηχανία εις βάρος των μικρών παράκτιων αλιέων χαμηλής έντασης.


Στην Ελλάδα γίνεται ακριβώς το ίδιο. Η αλιευτική παραγωγή έχει μειωθεί κατά 50% τα τελευταία 15 χρόνια κάνοντας το επάγγελμα του ψαρά ασύμφορο και το μέλλον του αβέβαιο. Το γεγονός αυτό επηρεάζει ήδη χιλιάδες συμπολίτες μας και τις παράκτιες κοινωνίες τους. Η αλιεία, ειδικά η παράκτια, είναι μία από τις σπουδαιότερες δραστηριότητες τόσο για οικονομικούς, όσο και για κοινωνικούς λόγους. Απασχολεί δεκάδες χιλιάδες ανθρώπους και αποτελεί το μοναδικό μέσο βιοπορισμού για πολλές οικογένειες, ειδικά σε απομακρυσμένα νησιά και περιοχές όπου συνήθως δεν υπάρχει εναλλακτική απασχόληση.


«Η συνάντηση αυτή αποτελεί το μεγάλο στοίχημα των ευρωπαίων ηγετών για το μέλλον της αλιείας. Ήρθε η ώρα να μας αποδείξουν ότι στοχεύουν πραγματικά στην προστασία της θάλασσας», δήλωσε η Άντζελα Λάζου Dean, υπεύθυνη για το θαλάσσιο περιβάλλον στο ελληνικό γραφείο της Greenpeace.

«Ας είναι το 2015 μια καινούργια αρχή για την αλιεία στην Ευρώπη, όπου οι μικροί βιώσιμοι αλιείς λαμβάνουν την μερίδα του λέοντος για αλλαγή, δίνοντας έτσι την ευκαιρία στις τοπικές κοινωνίες να ευδοκιμήσουν»,

συμπλήρωσε η Λάζου Dean.

Η Greenpeace καλεί τον Έλληνα Υπουργό, κ. Καρασμάνη:

- να αποσύρει τα πιο καταστροφικά και θηριώδη σκάφη, ώστε να επανέλθει ο αλιευτικός στόλος σε ένα βιώσιμο επίπεδο


- να κατανέμει τις αλιευτικές ευκαιρίες με δίκαιο τρόπο βάσει οικονομικών, κοινωνικών και περιβαλλοντικών κριτηρίων, δίνοντας προτεραιότητα στους μικρούς παράκτιους ψαράδες


- να προχωρήσει στη δημιουργία θαλάσσιων καταφυγίων, ως το πλέον αποτελεσματικό μέτρο για την προστασία της θάλασσας,

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NORWAY: Stronger hearts by sorting and exercise

NORWAY: Stronger hearts by sorting and exercise | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

Scientists are keen to sort farmed salmon and provide them with exercise right from the early stages of their growth, in order to equip them to deal with the stress of transfer to the sea.


The aquaculture industry has faced persistent challenges relating to survival after the smolts have been transferred to the sea. Figures from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority show that the annual loss is approximately 16%. A significant part of this is due to fish in poor condition, which are more receptive for disease. Such fish die relatively soon after being transferred to the sea.


Nofima is attempting to achieve higher survival by the use of exercise and better sorting of salmon.


“The FitSmolt project is intended to discover how the smolt can develop higher resistance to disease, how we can get them to deal with various types of stress better, and how they can grow rapidly, with natural organ development,” says Nofima Senior Scientist Harald Takle.


The Fitsmolt project is co-funded by the Norwegian Research Council and the Norwegian Seafood Research Fund (FHF).


Sorting by swimming ability


The scientists have previously shown that sorting the young salmon by swimming ability gives postsmolts whose heart muscle is 24% more powerful and whose gill surface area is 16% larger. These fish swim 66% more efficiently. The increase in heart capacity means that the fish grow more rapidly, and have higher resistance to disease.


The next stage involves exercising the salmon right from an early age until they are transferred to the sea, with swimming exercise at the correct flow rate. Previous results have shown that more salmon survive after transfer to the sea when they have undergone extensive exercise as smolts. The scientists now want to see whether even more robust fish can be developed by exercising the fish throughout the complete fresh-water phase.


The exercise means that the fish develop significantly higher swimming capacity and heart strength, and this is why the scientists believe that exercise gives better survival.


“We also want to compare the heart capacity of farmed smolts with that of wild smolts, and identify markers that reflect these differences. The wild salmon will be taken from the Lærdal River, since we know that smolts from here are strong and swim well. The long-term goal is to ensure that future generations of farmed fish are at least as robust as their wild cousins,” says Takle.



Contact person: Harald Takle, Senior Scientist - Tlf: +47 64 97 04 45 -
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UNITED STATES: Conflict threatens to close Bering Sea halibut fishery

UNITED STATES: Conflict threatens to close Bering Sea halibut fishery | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

A struggle in Alaska over shrinking supplies of halibut is threatening the iconic centerpiece fish in favor of cheaper exports, fast-food fillets and fish sticks. 

If expected cuts are made in January, halibut fishing could be over in the Bering Sea west of Alaska, the source of one-sixth of halibut caught in the United States. That catch includes most of the frozen supply that sustains restaurants, food-service companies and retail stores nationwide, such as Costco and Whole Foods.


“The problem is we are running out of rope. We have one more move: We can close the (Bering Sea) fishery,” said Bob Alverson, head of a Seattle-based fishing trade association and a U.S. representative to the International Pacific Halibut Commission, which sets limits on halibut fishing. “That’s going to be devastating if we have to do that.”


Those likely to suffer include fishing crews from Alaska to Oregon and vessel owners who invested in the halibut haul after it was privatized in 1995 in a failed bid to stabilize the fish stock. Perhaps more severely threatened are Aleut villages of western Alaska that rely on halibut for both cash and sustenance.


The trouble stems from more than a decade of declines in halibut stocks targeted by fishing vessels that use long lines of baited hooks to reel in the popular fish.


Pitted against the hook-and-line halibut fleet are 16 Bering Sea trawlers -- controlled by five Washington-based companies -- that scoop up sole, flounder and cod in nets mostly for export. Their nets also inadvertently kill halibut. The same goes for boats from America’s largest single fishery, the pollock that ends up in Filet-O-Fish sandwiches, fish sticks and fake crab for sushi. McDonald’s, Subway, Long John Silver’s, Gorton’s -- all are dependent on the pollock. 


By the numbers, it’s a huge mismatch. The trawl boats, some as long as a football field, net 3.3 billion pounds annually and feed consumers around the globe. The smaller halibut boats return to dock with just 4.4 million pounds of fish. But that fish is sold mostly in North America and fetches far more, pound for pound, at the fish counter. It’s also a favorite of American diners.


“It’s unusual to have that big steaky fish. It’s got that texture and the bright white meat and no bones, and all of those things that make halibut popular with people,” said Tyson Fick, communications director at the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.


But landing that big steak-like fish and bringing it to American consumers is getting complicated.


Competing fleets


By law, only halibut caught by hook and line can be sold to consumers. Trawl boats are allowed to kill a certain amount of halibut in their nets as accidental catch, but except for a small amount funneled to food banks, those halibut must be thrown overboard.


The bargain struck on Americans’ behalf is that the trawlers net a seafood bounty that consumers can buy cheaply, or companies can export. In exchange, the massive net-fishers are allowed to throw back an amount of expensive halibut that is minuscule compared to the trawlers’ catch -- but huge for the halibut fleet. Meanwhile, the hook-and-line vessels supply the U.S. halibut market.


The system worked well when halibut was abundant. Now the fish is in steep decline and there is evidence that trawl boats are part of the problem. Temperature changes and past overfishing by hook-and-line boats are factors, too. But what’s clear is that since the catch was divided into private “shares” in 1995, an effort designed to make halibut fishing more sustainable, the amount of halibut scientists say is safe to harvest has fallen from 58 million pounds a year to a little more than one-quarter that amount.


Large cutbacks in hook-and-line halibut fishing started in 2003. By 2012, the amount of halibut killed by the big trawlers -- known as “bycatch” -- began to outstrip the amount actually brought to shore by the smaller halibut boats. The cod, sole and flounder boats are chiefly responsible. At least 10 percent of bycatch is the fault of the pollock industry.


Now the International Pacific Halibut Commission, a U.S.-Canada board, is poised to cut the halibut catch by 70 percent in January to control the stock’s freefall. It’s a stopgap measure. The commission doesn’t have the authority to regulate the trawl boats.


If the commission again reduces hook-and-line fishers’ catch, that would likely end halibut fishing in the Bering Sea. The reason: The allowable catch would be worth less than the cost to go to sea and bring it back.


The Bering Sea halibut take is 16 percent of all U.S. halibut landings, but it’s a crucial slice. Because of accidents of history and geography, the Bering Sea fleet produces most of the frozen halibut that provide a year-round supply for high-end restaurants and retailers who thaw their supply. 


A closure could also drive prices even higher for fresh halibut from the other two U.S. sources, the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific Ocean. Already halibut is one of the most costly items in the seafood case, sometimes hitting $28 a pound.


Voluntary regulation


It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Keeping halibut on the menu and halibut boats on the water is the job of two government agencies, the U.S.-Canada International Pacific Halibut Commission and an American panel, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.


When the international commission earlier this year slashed the halibut boats’ catch by one-third in the Bering Sea, it was counting on the American council, which regulates trawlers, to reduce the trawling boats’ allowable bycatch by the same amount.


That didn’t happen. The council instead has called for voluntary cutbacks. Some council members argue voluntary measures get results faster in an environment where the pace of rule-making can be slow. But the American council typically avoids curtailing trawlers, reasoning that it makes no sense to reduce the pollock, cod, sole and flounder fisheries that are so economically valuable to protect the comparatively tiny landings of halibut and other smaller fisheries.



A voting majority of the federal appointees serving on the American council tend to side with the trawl industry. Council service requires experience that draws much of its membership from the seafood industry, where trawlers are the bigger players.


Trawlers’ representatives have said that they should not pay the price for the past mistakes of the international halibut commission, which previously allowed overharvesting.


There is one public official who at least theoretically should be trying to bridge the gap and solve the problem -- but he’s been mum on the issue.

Jim Balsiger, administrator for the Alaska Region of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, serves on both the U.S. council and the Canada-U.S. halibut commission. He recused himself from voting and from discussion on halibut bycatch in October, citing conflicts of interest. His wife, Heather McCarty, is a lobbyist active in trawl issues and those facing St. Paul, a halibut-fishing community in the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea.


Balsiger could not be reached for comment.


One option to settle the dispute, according to Duncan Fields, a member of the American council, is to do away with the rule mandating that halibut be caught by hook and line.


“It simply doesn’t make sense to have a law or a rule that every halibut that comes over the side of a trawl vessel is waste,” Fields said. “The American consumer doesn’t know or care that the halibut is caught by a longliner or a trawl boat ... It’s poor public policy ... to throw away about 8 million pounds of halibut” each year.


Whatever new rules emerge, Fields argues, should acknowledge that halibut has become an iconic fish in America, and one in far greater demand by the American public than the cod, sole and flounder that account for more than half the halibut killed in the trawl fishery.

As it stands, “We are exchanging something of great demand in the American public for a fish that is primarily exported and has little or no demand in America,” Fields said.


Rippling effects


What will happen if the international halibut commission goes ahead with further reductions in January, as expected?


The halibut fleet could perhaps fish other species. Consumers could buy pollock or cod or some other white fish. But the small boat fishermen of Western Alaska -- mostly Aleut Natives -- would struggle mightily. Some are based in communities whose economies turn entirely on seafood, with halibut and crab dominating the winter fishing months. Community leaders in St. Paul, for example, have said that the unemployment stemming from an end to halibut fishing would fuel social problems, and that many fishermen will face bankruptcy if they can’t return to the sea within a few seasons.


Ending hook-and-line fishing of halibut in the Bering Sea also would sever the cultural ties between small-boat and small-community fishers and a fish that has had a long history in Western Alaska. Aleut Natives, who harvest halibut for subsistence while fishing commercially, would face an unknown future.


The same can be said for the halibut fleet.


“Shutting down a big-money fishery like pollock to save a few halibut is just not going to happen," said Per Odegaard, president of the Fishing Vessel Owners Association, a trade group based in Seattle. “The contributions, the lobbying and stuff, it's kind of a David and Goliath thing.”


The North Pacific Fisheries Management Council is meeting this week in Anchorage.


If you have experience with or information about the halibut fishery or the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, email InvestigateWest is a nonprofit investigative newsroom for the Pacific Northwest.


Lee Van Der Voo



PIRatE Lab's curator insight, December 15, 12:25 PM

A great example of the struggles we have in managing stocks when many players are involved and when those include larger, more industrial-sized harvesters and smaller scale narrowly-targeted fishers..

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UNITED KINGDOM: Fishing chief’s fears over looming discard ban

UNITED KINGDOM: Fishing chief’s fears over looming discard ban | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

FISHING CHIEFS fear for the future of the Scottish fleet as crucial talks over catching opportunities begin in Brussels today.

The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) is warning that the looming discard ban is casting a huge cloud of uncertainty over the fishing fleet.


The discard ban - or landing obligation as it is known - comes into effect for mackerel and herring on 1 January 2015, with the whitefish fleet following the year after.


However, SFF said there is still little detail of how the new EU regulation will be managed – or assessment made of the impact it will have on the viability of fishing fleets.


Under the discard ban, fishermen will have to land all the fish they catch, which will be counted against their quota.


Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the SFF, said: “No one abhors throwing good quality fish over the side more than our fishermen, but we are now in the ridiculous position where we have the discard ban coming into operation for mackerel and herring fishermen on 1 January, yet minimum landing size and catch composition rules have yet to be amended.


“This means that fishermen adhering to the new regulation will actually be breaking the law. We are in the perverse situation of which law a fisherman breaks first, or which piece of legislation the compliance agencies would have to enforce first.”


Landing all catches is a recipe for disaster (


However, the main focus of this week’s Fisheries Council will be on quotas for 2015.


Many have already been decided at the recent negotiations between the EU and Norway for shared stocks. This has resulted in increases for North Sea cod and haddock, and reductions for North Sea whiting and saithe in line with the management plans and the scientific advice.


However, the Fisheries Council will decide upon a range of other stocks, including North Sea and West coast prawns, and West coast haddock, herring and northern monkfish.


Mr Armstrong said: “Although the new agreed quotas and the proposals on the table contain the usual mix of increases and decreases, in the main these fluctuations are not huge, which will bring an element of stability to the fishing fleet in 2015.


“The key underlying element is that the fish stocks of most interest to the Scottish industry are, with a few exceptions, either in robust health or heading encouragingly in that direction.


“This Fisheries Council presents an important opportunity to agree on catch levels that reflects both the actual abundance of fish stocks and the requirement to reduce discards.”


He added: “The fight to stop any further cuts in the number of fishing days for our fishermen under the discredited cod recovery plan was effectively won two years ago and has been applied automatically ever since. Whilst we do not anticipate effort control to be an issue at the Fisheries Council, it is an area we do need to remain vigilant over.”



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ΚΟΣΜΟΣ: Χαιρετίζει η Ε.Ε. τη συμφωνία στη διάσκεψη για το κλίμα

ΚΟΣΜΟΣ: Χαιρετίζει η Ε.Ε. τη συμφωνία στη διάσκεψη για το κλίμα | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

Τη συμφωνία που επιτεύχθηκε στη Λίμα κατά τη διάσκεψη του ΟΗΕ για το κλίμα χαιρέτισε η Ε.Ε., κάνοντας λόγο για «ένα βήμα μπροστά» προς τη σύναψη παγκόσμιου συμφώνου στη διάσκεψη του Παρισιού που είναι προγραμματισμένη για τα τέλη του 2015.


Σε ανακοίνωση που εξέδωσε η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή αναφέρει ότι η συμφωνία της Λίμα ζητεί από όλες τις χώρες να αναγνωρίσουν τις μελλοντικές τους δεσμεύσεις σχετικά με τη μείωση της έκλυσης αερίων που προκαλούν το φαινόμενο του θερμοκηπίου «με τρόπο σαφή, διαφανή και κατανοητό».

Οι χώρες που διαπραγματεύονταν υπό την αιγίδα του ΟΗΕ με στόχο την σύναψη ενός συμφώνου το 2015 για τον περιορισμό της κλιματικής αλλαγής κατέληξαν σήμερα σε μια συμφωνία για τις μελλοντικές τους δεσμεύσεις σχετικά με τη μείωση της έκλυσης αερίων που προκαλούν το φαινόμενο του θερμοκηπίου, ανακοίνωσε ο Περουβιανός υπουργός Περιβάλλοντος Μανουέλ Πούλγαρ- Βιδάλ.

Έπειτα από μαραθώνιες διαπραγματεύσεις, που διήρκησαν δύο εβδομάδες, το έγγραφο των τεσσάρων σελίδων ζητεί από τις 190 χώρες που συμμετείχαν στη διάσκεψη στη Λίμα να υποβάλουν εθνικά σχέδια για την αντιμετώπιση της κλιματικής αλλαγής στις αρχές του 2015, ώστε να διαμορφωθεί η βάση για μια παγκόσμια συμφωνία στη διάσκεψη του Παρισιού του χρόνου.


Οι δεσμεύσεις των χωρών πρέπει να επιτρέψουν μια παγκόσμια μείωση των αερίων που προκαλούν το φαινόμενο του θερμοκηπίου από 40% ως 70% μέχρι το 2050, κάτι που κρίνεται απολύτως απαραίτητο για να περιοριστεί η αύξηση της θερμοκρασίας του πλανήτη στους 2 βαθμούς Κελσίου.



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MAGAZINE: Aqua Culture Asia Pacific - November / December 2014

MAGAZINE: Aqua Culture Asia Pacific -  November / December 2014 | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |
Contents: - Sustainable production of high value freshwater fish - New leads to mitigate EMS/AHPND - Biosecurity in aquaculture - Functional hydrolysates in olive flounder - Protein sparing in the tilapia View issue for free: ;
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ΕΛΛΑΔΑ: 28,5 δισ. τα δάνεια σε καθυστέρηση 6.000 επιχειρήσεων

ΕΛΛΑΔΑ: 28,5 δισ. τα δάνεια  σε καθυστέρηση  6.000 επιχειρήσεων | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

Στα 28,5 δισ. ευρώ ανέρχονται τα δάνεια σε καθυστέρηση, 6.000 επιχειρήσεων, από τα οποία τα μισά περίπου επιμερίζονται σε μερικές εκατοντάδες επιχειρήσεις. Αυτό διαπιστώνει η ανάλυση της Τράπεζας της Ελλάδος για τα χαρακτηριστικά των μεγάλων επιχειρηματικών δανείων άνω του 1 εκατ. ευρώ, τα οποία εμφανίζουν υψηλό βαθμό συγκέντρωσης σε συγκεκριμένους κλάδους, αλλά και σε μικρό αριθμό πιστούχων.

Είναι χαρακτηριστικό ότι το ένα τρίτο των δανείων σε καθυστέρηση αφορά περίπου 800 επιχειρήσεις, οι οποίες χρωστούν σε δύο τουλάχιστον τράπεζες και έχουν δάνεια σε καθυστέρηση ύψους 11 δισ. ευρώ. Από τις 800 επιχειρήσεις πιστούχους, ορισμένες χρωστούν και στις τέσσερις συστημικές τράπεζες και το ύψος των δανείων σε καθυστέρηση ανέρχεται σε περίπου 3 δισ. ευρώ.

Αντίστοιχα το ήμισυ των δανείων σε καθυστέρηση, δηλαδή περί τα 14 δισ. ευρώ, κατανέμεται σε μερικές εκατοντάδες πιστούχους, με το μισό περίπου αυτών να συγκεντρώνεται σε έξι κλάδους οικονομικής δραστηριότητας, σε σύνολο 88 κλάδων της οικονομίας. Οπως προκύπτει από την ανάλυση μεταξύ των κλάδων με υψηλό βαθμό συγκέντρωσης πιστούχων είναι οι υδατοκαλλιέργειες, οι χημικές βιομηχανίες, οι φαρμακοβιομηχανίες, η κλωστοϋφαντουργία και ακολουθούν οι κατασκευές και άλλες επαγγελματικές, επιστημονικές και τεχνικές δραστηριότητες.

Ο υπερδανεισμός συγκεκριμένων κλάδων της οικονομίας, όπως οι κατασκευές κτιρίων, το χονδρικό και το λιανικό εμπόριο, η αλιεία και η υδατοκαλλιέργεια, η παραγωγή κλωστοϋφαντουργικών υλών ή η παραγωγή φαρμακευτικών προϊόντων και σκευασμάτων, όπως επίσης και ο υψηλός βαθμός συγκέντρωσης σε συγκεκριμένους πιστωτές, διευκολύνει σύμφωνα με την ανάλυση της ΤτΕ, την αναδιάρθρωσή τους και την ευκολότερη διαχείρισή τους από την πλευρά των τραπεζών. Προϋπόθεση, όπως σημειώνει, είναι οι τράπεζες να έχουν το κατάλληλο θεσμικό και πτωχευτικό πλαίσιο, που θα απλοποιεί και θα επιταχύνει λύσεις σε προδικαστικό και δικαστικό επίπεδο. Να σημειωθεί ότι ο πρόσφατος νόμος για τη διαχείριση των «κόκκινων» επιχειρηματικών δανείων, επιτρέπει την αναδιάρθρωση τόσο των δανείων ΜμΕ με τζίρο έως 2,5 εκατ. ευρώ όσο και των δανείων μεγάλων επιχειρήσεων, με την προϋπόθεση ότι έχουν προηγουμένως ρυθμίσει τις οφειλές τους προς το Δημόσιο.

Η ΤτΕ επισημαίνει την επιδείνωση των καθυστερήσεων σε κλάδους με ήδη υψηλό ποσοστό καθυστερήσεων, γεγονός που καθιστά αναγκαία την κατά προτεραιότητα αντιμετώπιση του προβλήματος στους κλάδους αυτούς, προκειμένου να μειωθεί ο κίνδυνος μετάδοσης σε υγιείς επιχειρήσεις.

Σύμφωνα με τη σχετική ανάλυση, 30 κλάδοι που έχουν απορροφήσει το 23% της τραπεζικής χρηματοδότησης του δείγματος εμφανίζουν δείκτη καθυστερήσεων μεταξύ 38% και 91% και 28 κλάδοι, που έχουν απορροφήσει το 58% της χρηματοδότησης, εμφανίζουν δείκτη καθυστερήσεων μεταξύ 21% και 37%. Στον αντίποδα είναι 30 κλάδοι που έχουν απορροφήσει το υπόλοιπο 19% της χρηματοδότησης και εμφανίζουν δείκτη καθυστερήσεων από 0% έως 20%.


της Ευγενίας Τζώρτζη - Kathimerini

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EUROPEAN UNION: Landing obligation – what it means and how to apply it

EUROPEAN UNION: Landing obligation – what it means and how to apply it | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

From 1st January 2015 onwards fishermen in certain parts of the EU will have to land the fish they catch.


By 2019 all fishermen will have the same obligation. In order to give full legal clarity for all fishermen affected by the imminent coming into force of this landing obligation, the European Commission has issued guidance on what the changes mean and how they will be applied and enforced.


The European Commission has also reiterated its willingness to continue acting as a facilitator to help the European Parliament and Council to find agreement on the so-called Omnibus Regulation. The Omnibus Regulation would further clarify technical rules that are important in view of the upcoming landing obligation.


Whilst agreement has not yet been reached, much progress has already been made on a number of substantive issues and all parties have demonstrated their willingness to find agreement. The Commission is hopeful that negotiations will  resume shortly on the outstanding issues following this constructive start.


More information

Landing obligation  - Questions & Answers:



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EUROPEAN UNION: Ministers decide on fishing catch limits for 2015

EUROPEAN UNION: Ministers decide on fishing catch limits for 2015 | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

EU Ministers have reached agreement on fishing opportunities for 2015 in the Atlantic, North Sea and Black Sea following lengthy discussion at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on the 15th and 16th December. Karmenu Vella, the EU's Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, presented the Commission's proposals based for the first time on the new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) which aims to have all stocks fished at sustainable levels.


Reacting to the agreement, Commissioner Vella said: "The CFP has passed its first real test with the unanimous support of all of the Member States. We have succeeded in increasing the number of stocks that are now managed at sustainable levels and sustainably managed stocks are now a broadly accepted concept". The new CFP establishes that decision-making such as fixing fishing opportunities must be guided, among others things, by scientific advice. Furthermore, the new CFP aims to restore and maintain a maximum sustainable yield (MSY) of the fish stocks and provides for a progressive elimination of discards in all EU fisheries through the introduction of an obligation to land all catches.


Ministers also discussed the state of play of discussions between the European Parliament and Council on the implementation of the landing obligation which comes into force gradually from 1st January 2015.


Full details of the agreement:


Nicholas Patrie's curator insight, December 17, 8:14 PM

With all fishermen work in the countries in the EU they now have to bring in all the fish they catch no matter what the size is because they want to limit the fish they catch.  they don't want them throwing fish back if they are small and having them end up dying. They do this in hopes of helping the economy and the fish in the sea.

Ingemar Pongratz's curator insight, December 18, 2:59 AM

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STUDY: Support activities for the development of maritime clusters i the Mediterranean and Black Sea areas

STUDY: Support activities for the development of maritime clusters i the Mediterranean and Black Sea areas | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

DG MARE has commissioned a study to provide policy makers at the EU and sea-basin levels an updated analysis of the current status and potential development of maritime clusters in the Mediterranean and Black Sea areas.


In order to realise this aim, the study:


- Provides insights into the state of the art of existing clusters in the field of the maritime economy, in the Black Sea and in each of the four Mediterranean sea-basins, and identifies their specialisation, functioning and overall performance. This helps to identify the most important maritime economic activities in each sea-basin, from a clustering perspective;


- Brings together local stakeholders to discuss issues at the cluster but also at the sector level;


- Develops a good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses, from a clustering perspective, of the most important maritime economic activities in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea areas;


- Identifies possible existing international cluster cooperation in the maritime sector between EU and non-EU countries;


- Assesses the possible implementation of maritime clusters concepts in each region and for the relevant sectors; and


- Develops a ground for future activities and policy initiatives that can best trigger innovation and promote sustainable growth at a cluster as well as at a sea-basin level.


Structure of the Final report


- Chapter 2 provides an overview of the maritime cluster patterns in the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions, based on both mapping and inventory. It pays attention to sectoral characteristics, critical mass, differences of maturity and trans-boundary cooperation.


- Chapter 3 provides an in-depth overview of the field investigations, consisting of the findings from the local focus groups combined with the key elements of the subsequent case studies.


- Chapter 4 focuses on the question how to exploit the benefits of clusters. It provides an assessment of the cross-cutting findings and is drafted above all for maritime cluster managers. It restates the rationale of maritime clusters specifically in the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions, sets out the benefits of maritime clusters, and the prerequisites for maritime cluster development in the region.


- Chapter 5 provides a Roadmap for policy makers. It identifies when to support maritime clusters and when not. It then presents seven Action lines for policy makers at all levels.




Final report:



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MAGAZINE: NZ Fisher - December 2014

Love fishing? NZ Fisher is New Zealand's monthly online magazine for fishing enthusiasts. Subscribe for free at!

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DEUTSCHLAND: Überfischung - Meer ohne Fisch

DEUTSCHLAND: Überfischung - Meer ohne Fisch | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |


Eigentlich wollte Brüssel die Überfischung beenden. Doch die aktuelle Entwicklung sieht anders aus.


Christian Schmidt, unser Bundesagrarminister, hat die Latte hochgelegt. Auch wenn er’s etwas sperrig formuliert hat, an dieser Stellewill ich ihn einmal zitieren: “Eine nachhaltige Fischerei ist der beste Garant, die Fischbestände in den Weltmeeren als wichtige Nahrungsquelle der Menschheit und Lebensgrundlage der Fischer unter Wahrung der biologischen Vielfalt auch für kommende Generationen zu sichern”, sagt der CSU-Politiker.


Zurzeit ist Schmidt in Brüssel, um am Montag und Dienstag mit seinen Amtskollegen die Fangmengen im Atlantik für das kommende Jahr festzulegen. Und zum ersten Mal gelten neue Regeln: Die Fischereiminister hatten sich ja bei der Reform der gemeinsamen Fischereipolitik nach langem Ringen 2013 darauf geeinigt, bis spätestens 2020 die Überfischung in europäischen Gewässern zu beenden.


Ganz konkret bedeutet das: Die Agrarminister sollen sich an die Empfehlungen der Wissenschaft halten, wenn es um die Fangquoten der einzelnen Fischbestände geht. Es soll nur so viel gefischt werden dürfen, dass sich die Bestände erholen können. Bislang landen in Einzelfällen sogar Fische an Bord, die noch nicht einmal geschlechtsreif sind. 41 Prozent der Fischbestände in der EU gelten als überfischt. Für zwölf Fischarten empfiehlt die Wissenschaft sogar ein sofortiges Fangverbot.


Das Problem ist nur: Die praktische Umsetzung hinkt hinterher. Bereits Anfang Oktober haben sich die Agrarminister getroffen, um über die Fangquoten in Nord- und Ostsee zu beraten. Nach Angaben der Meeresschützer vom WWF wurden in mehr als der Hälfte der Fälle Empfehlungen ignoriert und zu hohe Quoten beschlossen. Das mag vielleicht gut sein für norddeutsche Fischer, aber schlecht für die Bestände. Und natürlich ist es Geldverschwendung, schließlich hat die EU-Kommission Millionen für die wissenschaftlichen Gutachten gezahlt.


Je “publikumswirksamer” Brüssel betont, die Überfischung zu stoppen, desto mehr wird Brüssel natürlich auch an seinen Taten gemessen. Und wenn die EU-Fischereiminister ihre Sonntagsreden ignorieren, dann bekommen sie irgendwann ein Glaubwürdigkeitsproblem. Insbesondere Herr Schmidt, der sich an seinem eigenen Anspruch messen lassen muss.


Entlarvend ist auch Seite 15 in einer Mitteilung der EU-Kommission ans EU-Parlament und den Rat vom Juni 2014. Tabelle 4 listet dort auf, in wie vielen Fällen die beschlossenen Fangquoten der Minister über den Empfehlungen des Rats lagen. Seit Jahren ist die Entwicklung positiv: 2008 war die beschlossene Fangmenge 51 Prozent größer als die wissenschaftliche Empfehlung, im Jahr 2012 dagegen nur noch zwölf Prozent.


Aber seitdem steigt sie wieder an: In diesem Jahr nach offiziellen Schätzungen der Kommission sogar auf 35 Prozent. Vor allem der Kabeljau-Bestand vor Schottland, Irland und im Kattegat ist akut gefährdet, aber auch der Hering vor Schottland. “Das ist ein besorgniserregender Trend und ein offensichtlicher Rückschritt im Fischereimanagement”, warnt die Umweltschutzorganisation Oceana.


Und was kann Minister Schmidt nun tun? Die größte Befürchtung vom Meeresexperten wie Saskia Richartz von Greenpeace ist, dass er sich in der Abstimmung nicht einmischt, wenn es um Bestände geht, die Deutschland nicht befischt. “Damit unterstützt er indirekt die Fischereipolitik von großen Fischereinationen wie Spanien und Frankreich, aber auch von Dänemark, Großbritannien und Irland.”


Greenpeace hatte im November in einem ausführlichen Report die 20 größten Fischtrawler Europas an den Pranger gestellt: Sie würden, unterstützt mit EU-Subventionen, allein wegen der Größe und der Fangmethoden besonders stark zur Ausbeutung der Weltmeere beitragen.


Von Marlies Uke

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PUBLICATION: 21st Century Catch - Toolkit

The toolkit has been developed for anyone interested in how sea fishing is valued on the economic, social, cultural and environmental, or anyone interested in the role of sea fishing in the development of sustainable communities.
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PUBLICATION: EUMOFA - Monthly Highlights - No.6/2014

In this issue

Eleven European countries report first-sales data in this month’s highlights. Eight countries experienced increases in  volume and value, of which Norway is the most remarkable. Germany registers the highest decrease.  In Belgium, landings of sole have increased in volume since 2012.


The abundance of supplies led to decreases in average  prices. Landings of plaice increased in 2014 (January-September) by 57% in value and 61% in volume. In the UK, total first-sales value increased by 40% compared with January-September 2013. It reached 50% for crab.


EU seafood trade increased in the first three quarters of 2014. This concerns in particular exports of small pelagics (+23%)  and imports of shrimps (+25%). The EU imported EUR 3.3 billion of shrimps in 2013, 27% more compared to 2010.


Tropical shrimp production has contracted due to extreme weather conditions and diseases. This has led to an increase in prices on the EU market by 40% between 2010 and September 2014. While imports decreased by 17% in volume from 2010 to 2013, they started increasing again in  the first 9 months of 2014 (+4%). Ecuador and Vietnam register the main increase.

Retail prices of fresh anchovy are relatively consistent among  the southern European Member States. By contrast, fresh hake  retail prices show considerable variations in five Member  States surveyed.

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SPAIN: New labelling and biotoxin analysis worry mussel industry

SPAIN: New labelling and biotoxin analysis worry mussel industry | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

This Saturday the new rules of the European Union (EU) allowing packaging mussel without explicit mention of the country of origin or the species used will come into force, which concerns raft fishermen and mussel farmers from Galicia.


This situation is added to the fact that, as of 1 January, 2015, the implementation of biotoxin chemical control method comes into effect.


Galicia has always refused to use this method because it ensures that it harms the sector’s interests. Instead, it advocates the continuity of mouse bioassays.


According to the newspaper Faro de Vigo, these two "historical" events can have long term consequences on the production and marketing of Galician mussel.


The Undersecretariat of Marine Affairs and part of the productive sector on several occasions expressed their disagreement about biotoxin chemical analysis method.


And regarding the new labelling, the Galician Mussel Regulatory Council defends the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and so it has tried to prevent the implementation of that rule.


Besides, the Council also blames cannery industries and accuses them of supporting the removal of identifying information to encourage imports from third countries, especially from Chile.


The Council notes that "the European Commission (EC) believes it is necessary for processed and canned seafood products to indicate the commercial and scientific name of the species, production method and farming area (country of origin) of the product, as it is stated in the proposed regulation for which the Common Market Organisation for Fisheries and Aquaculture is set."


And it complains that "given this proposal, part of the canning industry proposed to remove the obligation to inform the consumer, and the dynamics of corporate governance, parliamentary amendments were presented collecting the removal of such information".


For its part, the Association of Mussel Fishermen from Combarro and Raxó, Ameconra, Mexilón de Galicia and Somego de Bueu met in the Council of Pontevedra with the Mayor Miguel Anxo Fernández Lores, and PSOE spokesman, Agustín Fernández, to continue collecting the support for the estuary from political parties.


The local government supports the raft fishermen sector and will defend the correct labeling of processed molluscs.


To Suso Castiñeiras, Ameconra secretary, the new rules of the common organization of fishery and aquaculture markets "makes it possible to hide the origin of processed or preserved mussels from third countries".


And that harms "the consumer in their rights and interests and favours companies trading foreign mussel, hiding information and harming companies processing mussels that are farmed in Galicia, affecting employment," he concluded.



By Analia Murias

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PORTUGAL: “Basket of the Sea” links fishermen directly to consumers

PORTUGAL: “Basket of the Sea” links fishermen directly to consumers | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

Supported by the European fisheries funds, a Portuguese community has created a scheme to bring fish directly from the fishermen to the consumers.


This “basket of the sea” is composed of local catch from Odemira fishermen which is sold through a contract with its customers: after agreeing on the price and frequency (every week, two weeks or once a month) they get the best local seasonal fish at a price both fair for the fishermen and for the customer. As fishermen include a minimum of 30% of lesser known species in their basket, they also participate in improving the fisheries sustainability.


This project, supported by a Fisheries Local Action Group ( ), was initiated by a local development association that teamed up with local fishermen to set up the scheme, which is now implemented by the fishermen themselves. After starting in early 2014, the scheme went from 11 customers in March 2014 to 60 in June.


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