ANALYSIS - In this week's news, Mexico has banned shrimp imports from some Asian countries and the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council met to discuss the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, writes Lucy Towers, TheFishSite Editor.
In order to protect Mexico's shrimp industry from Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS), the Sagarpa has ordered a temporary ban on shrimp imports from China, Viet Nam, Malaysia and Thailand.
With a possible risk of EMS transmission through infected broodstock, the precautionary measure has been put in place.
EMS causes mass mortality of crustaceans and first appeared in southern China and then spread to Viet Nam, Malaysia and Thailand.
The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) has expanded its Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification programme with the completion of new BAP standards for finfish and crustacean farms.
The addition of the new multi-species farm standards represents a significant advancement for the BAP programme, as it opens up the programme to a number of finfish and crustacean species not previously covered, including sea bass, sea bream, cobia, seriola, trout, grouper, barramundi, perch, carp, flounder, turbot and striped bass.
In company news, US GM salmon company, AquaBounty, has reported an increase in its net losses to US$4.4 million, but has had a good year overall.
With the US Food and Drug Administration's release of its Draft Environmental Assessment and Preliminary Finding of No Significant Impact for the company's AquAdvantage salmon, Ron Stotish, Chief Executive Officer of AquaBounty, said that the company is hopeful that approval will be granted later in the year.
Norwegian company Cermaq has posted good earnings for Quarter 1 of 2013 due to better salmon prices in a tight market. The company recorded profits for Q1 of NOK 94 million compared to NOK 11 million in fourth quarter 2012 and NOK 101 million in first quarter 2012.
The Agriculture and Fisheries Council met at the beginning of this week to further discuss the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in Europe and the protection of seabirds.
Reflecting on the meeting, EU Fisheries Commissioner, Maria Damanaki, said that ways to help fishermen avoid catching seabirds and possible funding opportunities were discussed.
In regards to the CFP reform, the WWF stated that the Irish presidency announced plans to step up the speed of the negotiations on the reform, in order to get compromises agreed by the next council on 13-14 May. The plan was accepted by all member states.
Also at the meeting, the Maltese Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights, Roderick Galdes, called for a more ambitious approach to Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY), stressing that the success of the reformed CFP depends upon it.
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