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Weekly Overview: Cheap Imports and Overregulation Threatening Europe's Fisheries Sector

28 July 2015

ANALYSIS - In an exclusive interview with TheFishSite on the sustainability of European fish stocks, president of Europêche, Secretary General of CEPESC and Chairman of the European Fisheries Technology Platform, Javier Garat, explained that lots of information and data has been collected and researched by scientists into fish stocks, but more needs to be done to understand all the data to help secure the future of the sector.

At present, almost half (48 per cent) of European fish stocks are still missing full data and information.

Therefore, in order to ensure sustainability, more needs to be done to understand data surrounding fish stocks in Europe.

Mr Garat went on to explain how the reformed Common Fisheries Policy is being rolled out and the challenges facing the fishing industry.

Overregulation, NGO campaigns and cheaper low standard imports were identified as the main three threats to European fisheries.

Speaking on cheaper imports from third countries produced at lower standards, Mr Garat explained: "The EU probably has the highest standards in the world – on everything. But these are not for free. They cost a lot of money.

“We should not reduce our standards, but raise the standards of other countries.

“We need a level playing field to be competitive, but it is difficult to put in place.”

In market news, Thailand's Thai Union Frozen Products (TUF) has suspended its public offering for the acquisition of Bumble Bee Seafoods due to an antitrust investigation. 

Tri-Union Seafoods LLC, a subsidiary of TUF operating a packaged seafood business in the United States under the brand Chicken of the Sea, has received a subpoena from the US Department of Justice which requires the company to provide relevant information in relation to an antitrust investigation of the packaged seafood industry in the US.

Strengthening its position in aquaculture genetics, TheFishSite parent company Benchmark Holdings PLC, has acquired Norwegian-based aquaculture genetics and research company Akvaforsk Genetics Center AS (AFGC) and American based Spring Genetics for a combined total of NOK 140m (£11 million). 

Expanding on Benchmark’s position as the second largest global player in salmon breeding and genetics, the acquisitions represent a strategic move into aquaculture genetics across a wider number of the major farmed species, and into breeding in the fast growing tilapia sector.

Lucy Towers

Lucy Towers
News Team - Editor

After graduating from The University of Sheffield, Lucy joined 5M in 2011 as part of the News Desk team. In 2012, she was promoted to editor of TheFishSite. With previous farming experience and a love for the great outdoors, Lucy has a passion for wildlife and the environment.

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