According to a new report, Brexit can cost Danish jobs and have large consequences for a number of Danish fishing ports. The report, which focused on Danish fisheries and Brexit, was commissioned by the Danish Government and produced by Aalborg University. The report estimates that fish worth DKK1bn (EUR134m) and between 272 and 844 Danish jobs are at risk if the British government excludes Danish fishermen from fishing in British waters. It is the first concrete estimate on the number of jobs at stake for Danish fishing in the negotiations on Brexit. The report bases its calculations on two scenarios, both of which imply that foreign fishermen are excluded from British waters. This will especially affect Skagen, Thyborøn, Hirtshals and Hanstholm, where Denmark’s largest fishing port is located. Søren Qvist Eliasen, lead author of the report, says Brexit will have a huge impact on these communities if it happens at once. On the other hand, he says these communities are highly dynamic and used to the fact that fishery resources fluctuate, and therefore “they are actually quite flexible.”
At the fish factory TripleNine in Thyborøn, fish from the British part of the North Sea is a major raw material in the production of fishmeal. The managing director of TripleNine’s department in Denmark, Peter Jensen says he is not thinking about it, but admits to being worried about the final outcome. The company has 140 employees in Esbjerg and Thyborøn and is owned by Danish fishermen. Last year TripleNine landed a profit of more than 100 million. Mr Jensen explains that a large reduction in the raw material will mean scaling down the factory with a concomitant loss of jobs. In total, a quarter of Danish fishermen catch in the British part of the North Sea. According to the report, there are 35 large Danish vessels fishing mainly for mackerel, herring, sandeel and sperling. They are able to do this because EU rules allow fishermen to fish their quota in all EU waters, a facility that the British government has said that it may want to close. Michael Gove, UK Fisheries Minister, told the BBC in an interview that Britain wanted to control and determine the conditions for access. “When we leave the EU, we become an independent coastal state, which means we can extend the control of our waters for up to 200 miles.” Karen Ellemann, Danish Fisheries Minister is preparing to negotiate fisheries with the other EU countries and Britain in the coming year. According to her, a hard Brexit that closes British waters to the EU will have major financial consequences for Danish fishing. Karen Ellemann hopes that the EU can reach an agreement with Britain such as it has with Norway giving it access to fishing in the British North Sea in the future.
Irina Makarenko, Pollution Monitoring and Assessment Officer and Prof. Halil Ibrahim Sur, Executive Director of the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution met with Aina Afanasjeva, Director of Eurofish International Organisation and Toni Bartulin, Eurofish Project Manager, at the secretariat premises in Istanbul just before Christmas 2017, to discuss the commission’s involvement in EMODnet, a project that collects, processes, and distributes data from the marine environment. Eurofish is a partner in EMODnet’s Human Activities, one of seven data portals.
Prof. Sur gave a detailed overview of the current situation in the Black Sea Commission, its activities and priorities, and stressed the importance of good cooperation among the members (Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine). The main challenges to Black Sea sustainability include pollution from land-based sources and maritime transport. Sustainable management of marine living resources, and sustainable human development are priorities for the commission. He welcomed the EMODnet initiative highlighting the need to involve as many stakeholders as possible in the project. Ms Afanasjeva presented the core activities of Eurofish and of the EMODnet Human Activities project and expressed her interest to further deepen the cooperation with all Black Sea member states with regards to data sharing with interested stakeholders such as researchers, policy-makers and other parties. The meeting concluded with an agreement to cooperate on EMODnet Human Activities related topics.
Satellite imagery and big data infrastructure offer a more cost-effective way to tighten enforcement against IUU fishing, according to a report released by the UK-based charity, Overseas Development Institute (ODI). There are however problems that hinder efficiency.
Private monitoring initiatives like Global Fishing Watch and FishSpektrum are undermined by limited size and insufficient quality of their datasets, the report finds. One problem is tracking vessel location. Large vessels can be monitored as they are legally required to be fitted with communication equipment known as vessel monitoring systems (VMS) or automatic identification systems (AIS), however smaller fishing boats do not need these to be installed or the systems are simply switched off to avoid surveillance. One of the biggest problems is the absence of a unique global database of fishing vessels. Vessel records are dispersed across national ship registries, licencing bodies, national radio bodies, regional fisheries management organisations, and international organisations. The confusion multiplies as vessels change owners and operators, are reflagged, and are registered with new authorities. Identifying individual ships and their owners is therefore a significant challenge. As a result, most of the private initiatives have developed their own vessel databases to pool and correlate static data from varying sources. These range in size from around 75,000 vessels to over 779,00, but a far cry from FAO estimates of 4.6 million fishing vessels in 2016. Better data management and closer collaboration between the different initiatives to gather, standardise, and analyse this data will contribute to making initiatives against illegal fishing more effective. The report calls in fact for a single unified database, if the fight against IUU fishing is not to be an uphill battle.
Japanese seriola (Seriola lalandi) farms run by Kurose Suisan and Global Ocean Works are the first in the world to be certified to the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standard. Yellowtail is the most widely farmed finfish in Japan and an integral and historical part of many coastal communities. Kurose Suisan achieved the certification in December 2017 after an independent assessment, following the ASC multi-site approach, of three sites – Kushima, Uchinoura and Nobeoka Farma – by SCS Global Services. The ASC Seriola and Cobia Standard, launched just over a year ago, addresses the key negative environmental and social impacts associated with seriola farming. The standard requires that farms preserve local habitats and biodiversity, minimise fish escapes, conserve water and water quality, and manage production with minimal use of therapeutics and antibiotics. The responsible sourcing of feed ingredients, including strict limits on the use of wild fish as an ingredient, and full traceability back to a responsibly managed source, are additional demands that farms are expected to fulfil.
The value of Vietnam’s seafood exports reached an all-time high in 2017 and the country is aiming to better this in 2018, reports Seafood Source. The latest data from Vietnam Customs show seafood exports were worth EUR6.8 billion (USD8.3 billion) in 2017, an increase of 18 percent compared with 2016. Vietnams’s vice minister for agriculture, Vu Van Tam said exports in 2018 aim at EUR 7.3 billion, up 8.2 percent from 2017. Shrimp and pangasius are Vietnam’s two major seafood export products. In 2017, the export value of shrimp rose 21 percent year-on-year to EUR3.11 billion, while that of pangasius increased nearly four percent to EUR1.47 billion. Despite the higher rate of inspections recently initiated in the US, imports of Vietnamese seafood were worth EUR1.2 billion. However, the E.U. was the top destination for seafood products from Vietnam in 2017 for the first time. A top priority for Vietnam’s agriculture and the country’s seafood industry will be to get the E.U. to withdraw the so-called “yellow card’, which was imposed by the European Commission in October 2017 in response to the country’s shortcomings in dealing with domestic IUU fishing problems. Since then, Vietnam has taken a series of legislative and administrative measures to counter the problem.
The Directorate of Fisheries of Croatia has announced the entry into force of new regulations governing sports fishers that subjects them to new obligations, but also open up areas previously closed to them. A new special license is required for certain kinds of fishing tackle, while a new license is required to fish in national parks, wildlife reserves, and nature parks, areas hitherto closed to sports fishers. Another change is the obligation to tag each of 18 fish species that are recognized as economically important but caught in recreational fisheries. Tagging is by cutting the tail of the fish or by notching cephalopods under the eyes. The idea is to try and prevent the commercial sale of fish caught by recreational fishers. The maximum allowable catch per day is 5 kg of fish and 2 kg of shellfish and cephalopods.
A license for recreational sea fishing can now be purchased at the web shop on the Directorate of Fisheries' website www.mps.hr/ribarstvo. A sport and recreational fishing license can be issued for a one-day, three-day, one-week, one-month or one-year period. Annual licenses can be bought from 1 December to 1 March at authorised dealers for recreational licenses at sea, or at the Directorate of Fisheries’ offices in Zagreb or the field.
Esben Lunde Larsen, Danish Minister for the Environment and Food, will investigate whether companies are breeding fish for which they do not have permission. In autumn at Hjarnø in Horsens Fjord, Denmark about 200 coho salmon escaped from a farm. Following a request from the Danish Sports Fishing Association, it emerged that the company did not have all the necessary permits to breed the non-indigenous species. While a farming company is responsible for having the permits in place, the authorities need to do more to ensure knowledge of the rules and to make sure that they are being respected, said Mr Lunde Larsen. The farm in question was authorised by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration to import coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) eggs but did not have a valid permit to breed an alien species. The minister has now asked the Danish Environmental Protection Agency to check for and address any similar cases.
New EU rules on how, where and when fish can be caught, were enacted by the European Parliament (EP). Key highlights are an EU-wide ban on the use of electric pulse fishing, simpler rules on fishing gear and minimum size of fish, more regional flexibility for fishermen, but also limits on catches of vulnerable stocks and juvenile fish. The new law, which updates and combines more than 30 regulations, also allows tailor-made measures that cater to the regional needs of each sea basin. During the vote on existing technical measures in fisheries, the EP adopted an amendment of importance to Croatian fisheries – the amendment to strike a Mediterranean Regulation provision which prevented the use of purse seines at depths less than 70% of their height, which did not suit Croatian fishermen and nearly stopped such fishing since Croatia’s accession to the EU in 2013. An amendment calling for a total ban on the use of electric current for fishing (e.g. to drive fish up out of the seabed and into the net) was passed by 402 votes to 232, with 40 abstentions. The EU rules, designed to progressively reduce juvenile catches, would prohibit some fishing gear and methods, impose general restrictions on the use of towed gear and static nets, restrict catches of marine mammals, seabirds and marine reptiles, include special provisions to protect sensitive habitats, and ban practices such as “high-grading” (discarding low-priced fish even though they should legally be landed) in order to reduce discarding.
The meeting point for Southern, Eastern European and Mediterranean basin markets is scheduled for 15th and 16th February 2018 in Pordenone (Venice Area) - Italy.
The European Environment Agency recent report on 'Food in a green light' (https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/food-in-a-green-light) states it unmistakenly: the European Union must transform its food system to achieve the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring sustainable food production systems by 2030 and the European Union's long term sustainability goal of 'living well, within the limits of the planet' by 2050. Concerning aquaculture production, the challenge for all players is to harmonize the European Union goal to rise inside 2030 the aquaculture production in Europe by 41% for freshwater species and 112% for Mediterranean seawater species, compared to 2010 levels.
Italy is one of the primary aquaculture producers of the continent and is actively working on both public and company-funded research to increase product quantity and quality while reducing environmental impacts of aquaculture. Further, Italian companies and trade associations are actively partnering with emerging European and Mediterranean countries’ farmers and industries.
Aquafarm the 2018 edition of conference and trade show, organized by Pordenone Fiere, is scheduled for 15-16 February 2018. The first edition, last January, exceeded expectations with more than one thousand professional operator attending from 25 countries, 82 brands exhibiting, 4 active partnerships with trade associations, both national and international, 15 international conferences with 113 speakers, 12 media partners. More than 80% of the first edition exhibitors had already rebooked on site or within three months after the event.
With these numbers, and the goal of improving on them, AquaFarm is rapidly fulfilling its aim to become a meeting point for researchers, industry leaders, public institutions, policy makers and investors, operating in sustainable aquaculture and related fields of algaculture, aquaponics, hydroponics and aeroponics.
Aquafarm primary sponsors and supporters are industry associations, large and medium fish farmers companies with innovative and sustainable products and processes, and suppliers of fish feed, equipments, drugs and vaccines. The conference agenda will be structured on eighteen thematic sessions, covering all aspects of aquaculture and related fields. Examples include low-and-no-oceanic resources use feeds using new protein and oil sources (this year insects and genetically enhanced Camelina are all the rage); genetics and genomics techniques, including CRISPR; integrated fish culture and vegetables in close-loop controlled environments (aquaponics); the oft overlooked but all-important processing and distribution stages of aquaculture products and many others.
CONFERENCES & NETWORKING: Conference sessions will include the usual balance of speeches and presentations by researchers, fish farmers, suppliers and user communities, such as food industry, packagers, logistics operators, retailers and consumers. The 2018 edition will include a new stream of sessions built in quasi-realtime from the explicit information requests by the attending operators. A supervising scientific committee, including both researchers and farming industry participants will assure the quality of content of the individual speeches as last year. The poster area dedicated to junior researchers and very early stage projects will be enlarged.
ENGAGING WITH THE INDUSTRY: Aquafarm 2018 will feature an international trade exhibition, where Italian and international companies will show case their rates products, services and technologies related to the sectors: fish farmers, suppliers, associations, public institutions, universities and investors. A number of sponsorship and exhibition packages are available tailored to the needs of every kind of participants, from fully-fledged corporate booths to contact desks and poster-like presence. Collective booths for country delegations are also available at special conditions.
Aquafarm 2018 will host international speakers and case histories from Europe and Mediterranean regions in different vertical sessions.
The 2017 December issue celebrates 20 years of the Eurofish Magazine. This issue looks at fisheries and aquaculture headlines over the last two decades and shows some of the people working behind the scenes.
The issue also features Romania, as the main country profile and contains pieces on Latvia and Russia.
The species section focuses on Europe’s carp farming and its needs for new marketing ideas. Under the Trade and Markets section we look at the implementation of the new EU-Canada trade agreement and how the deal will effect consumer prices and boost trade.