A new single list

The Commission has taken a decision that brings changes to the list of countries authorised to export fishery products to the European Union. The list now includes some countries that were previously included on “list II” of countries authorised to trade with the EU by special dispensation only, by the terms of Regulation (EC) No 2076/2005 of 5 December 2005 that expired at the end of 2009.

The Commission has taken a decision that brings changes to the list of countries authorised to export fishery products to the European Union. The list now includes some countries that were previously included on “list II” of countries authorised to trade with the EU by special dispensation only, by the terms of Regulation (EC) No 2076/2005 of 5 December 2005 that expired at the end of 2009.   

“Improving health standards”

Interview with Gary Preston, module 1 coordinator 'Strengthening health control capacity'

What is the aim of this module 1 that concerns the quality of health control?

Agreements to combat illegal fishing

On 1 January 2010 a series of new measures entered into force to support the control system of the EU Common Fisheries Policy.

Illegal fishing (IUU) represents an estimated €10 billion a year and the EU is an attractive market for IUU operators. Demand for fish is high and it is easy to launder IUU catches, through processing in particular, due to the flagrant lack of mechanisms for tracing products and identifying fishing vessels.

Namibia strengthens its fishery products testing potential

Namibia is a major exporter of fish and fishery products. It also has a growing aquaculture industry. The Namibian Standards Institute (NSI) has been delegated by the Ministry of Trade and Industry as the official technical inspectorate and Competent Authority for the sanitary inspection and certification of fishery products.

In November 2009, an SFP intervention reported (LTI-NAM carried out by by John R. Cox), that most samples were sent to South Africa for analysis (pesticides, PCBs, dioxins, heavy metals, etc.). Following his visit, a decision was taken to mitigate this situation and to charge the NSI with microbiological, biotoxin, heavy metals and histamine testing. Efforts are being made to obtain ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation.

Developing small-scale fisheries

Interview with Malcolm Dickson, expert for Module 4 of the SFP Programme

SFP info: Could you start by explaining in general terms your contribution to the SFP Programme’s activities on small-scale fisheries environment?

Developing added value in Gambia

Fishermen in Gambia. © sxc / wootz

In October 2009, R. Shotton, expert with the SFP programme and specialist on aid to the smallscale fisheries sector, undertook a mission to Gambia. He observed how Gambia’s small-scale fisheries sector supplies pelagic fish that is subsequently dried, smoked and dispatched to national and regional markets. The other major activity consists of targeting species with a high commercial value (prawns, cuttlefish, spiny lobsters, sole and other percidae species) for which there is an active market in Dakar and that could be sold in Europe at a high price.

While fishers associations play an essential commercial and social role, in most cases they lack resources. Given the risk of Gambian produce being refused entry to European markets, no national sector player is prepared to invest in exports. As a result, the sector suffers from under-capitalisation.

The expert found that various levels of aid could be provided. Fishers associations could be strengthened at the purely administrative level. Upstream, the availability of isothermal crates for dug-out canoes and at catch

Eritrea wants to win back export markets by improving energy savings and refrigeration

With 1200km of Red Sea coastline and more than 359 islands, Eritrea has major fish resources. Indeed, this African country has traditionally exported fish (coral reef and pelagic fish; whole, gutted or filleted) as well as shrimp to Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Greece. Since 2007, however, Eurostat estimates that the volume of exports has fallen to no more than about 10 tonnes a year. In 2010, the Eritrean Government therefore decided to make the export of marine products to Europe a priority following the major investments made in the past decade in new factories, fishing vessels and landing sites.

The work of the SFP programme “Strengthening Fishery Products Health Conditions in the ACP/OCT countries” is part of this approach to winning back markets. In February, its expert, Mr Frank Hansen, undertook a specific mission: “Expert appraisal of refrigeration engineering in order to advise on refrigeration and storage options for factory-frozen products.” This followed an earlier preparatory mission carried out by John Ryder in December 2009. 

Improved smoking technique to make exports to the EU market possible

Smoking is a traditional method of fish preservation. Today, however, European standards for products exported to the EU impose strict controls on the chemical contaminants generated by this technique. In July and August 2010, first in Togo and then in the Côte d’Ivoire, Oumoulkhairy Ndiaye carried out “training and technical assistance missions for the managers of fish smoking plants with a view to exporting their products”.

Continued aid to assist Fiji’s access to the EU market

The Republic of the Fiji Islands is one of just two Pacific ACP countries to have signed trade agreements with the European Union (EU) guaranteeing market access for their fishery exports, and one of just three to have an authority responsible for inspecting produce to guarantee compliance with health standards. The EU is a potential market for Fiji’s tuna exports and access to this European market is crucially important for the region. The SFP programme is therefore continuing its aid action with more than 10 interventions in Fiji since 2007, relating in particular to a national control plan, traceability, industry modernisation and landing sites for catches.

New technical assistance actions were implemented in the first half of 2010 with the same objective, namely to help marine fishery products to comply with European regulations.  
The first mission involved assessing the CA’s response to Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) criticisms and helping to effect the necessary changes.  

Programme results

Senegalese fishermen. © United Nations/Evan Schneider

On 23 November 2009, the secretariat of the ACP Group of States convened the 14th meeting of the SFP programme Steering Committee, in cooperation with the EuropeAid Cooperation Office and the Mare, Trade, Sanco and Development DGs. Each module coordinator reviewed his field, providing details of missions in progress.

On 23 November 2009, the secretariat of the ACP Group of States convened the 14th meeting of the SFP programme Steering Committee, in cooperation with the EuropeAid Cooperation Office and the Mare, Trade, Sanco and Development DGs. Each module coordinator reviewed his field, providing details of missions in progress.