EU - Europêche has urged the European Commission to stop zero tariff quotas on tuna loins from South-east Asian countries.
The fisheries organisation said it believed that there are enough tuna loins originating from the Community fleet and from countries with duty free access to the EU, so the zero tariff quota on 22,000 tonnes of tuna loins should be eliminated.
Europêche said that Thailand, China and Viet Nam are the only countries really benefiting from this new quota tariff, and they do not respect the same standards set by the EU on regulation and control of fishing activities, working conditions, health guarantees and sustainability of resources.
Europêche claims there is sufficient tuna raw material from the EU fleet and from countries that have duty free access to the EU, to supply the European canning industry.
In fact, with the Spanish and French controlled fleet alone, around 700,000 tons of skipjack, yellow fin and big eye are caught annually.
The President of Europêche, Javier Garat, and his advisors explained to the Commission that there is enough supply for the processing industry not to need more benefits, to the detriment of our European producers.
The representatives of ship-owners have informed the Commission that they are forced to sell the whole frozen tuna to international markets because much of the EU processing industry can buy imported tuna from these countres.
That means that the EU misses out on job creation opportunities, because the gutting and cleaning of the whole tuna is where most jobs are needed.
It should also be noted that major Spanish canning companies are also against the approval of the quota as they prefer to focus on quality and ensuring responsible fishing offered by Community production and from certain American countries.
Similarly, Europêche does not recommend the tariff-free imports of plaice, pangasius, Alaskan pollack and tilapia which are used as substitute products for a number of sustainably fished species and are used for processing.
TheFishSite News Desk