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Weekly Overview: Can More be Done? Industry Working Hard to Combat Seafood Fraud

26 February 2013

ANALYSIS - In this weeks news round-up, the US National fisheries Institute is calling on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to enforce laws that will fight and protect people from fish fraud, writes Lucy Towers, TheFishSite Editor.

“The Food and Drug Administration needs to fulfill its mandate to fight food fraud. That means enforcing laws that are already on the books,” said National Fisheries Institute President John Connelly.

The announcement comes after environmental group Oceana released the results of its two year investigation that found 33 per cent of seafood sampled was mislabelled.

The FDA confirmed that there is a problem and has stepped up its methods of testing.

However, Better Seafood Board Secretary, Lisa Weddig, said: “Saying there is a problem is not the same as solving the problem.”

The FDA is now awaiting results of its own seafood fraud survey to see where more control and testing needs to be exercised.

Global police organisation INTERPOL, along with the Pew Charitable Trust, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, is launching a major global effort to stop illegal fishing and its associated crimes.

This initiative, called Project SCALE, aims to stop the harmful activity that costs the global economy up to $23 billion a year.

“Illegal fishing threatens the interests of legitimate fishermen worldwide and undermines the ability of the global community to properly manage fisheries in ways that will ensure a healthy future for this vitally important resource. In addition, efforts by pirate fishermen to keep their profits hidden spawn a host of other illegal activity including money laundering, tax evasion and fraud. With its global reach and history of tackling environmental crime, INTERPOL is ideally positioned to help bring these criminals to justice,” said Joshua Reichert, an executive vice president at Pew who leads the organisation’s environmental work.

Following the approval for a ban on discards in the Europe Union, Fisheries Committee MEPs have backed a proposed ban on discarding in the Skagerrak, an area located between the North Sea and the Baltic.

The ban will take effect gradually between 2014 and 2016 and would be enforced with a remote electronic monitoring system.

Sustainable aquaculture development is continuing to be pushed in South Africa. Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has published the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Guideline for Aquaculture in South Africa.

The EIA highlights the scale of the potential impacts of aquaculture and the risks posed to the environment if aquaculture is not implemented along the principles of sustainability.

In disease news, scientists in Tasmania have found in prelimenary studies that wild fish resistant are resistant to Amoebic Gill Disease.

- See more at: http://www.thefishsite.com/newsletter/313/thefishsite-newsletter-26-february-2013#sthash.lorWLwEP.dpuf

Lucy Towers, Editor

Lucy Towers, Editor



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