A new study claims that the EU will not reach its 2020 goal of sustainably caught fish, as EU ministers continue allowing catches higher than the recommended limits set by scientists. The New Economics Foundation (NEF), an NGO based in the UK, claims that the 2019 TACs for nearly half of EU commercial fish species were set higher than the scientific advice. They found that 55 TAC’s were set above recommended levels equating to approximately 312,000 tonnes in excess catch. The Northeast Atlantic TACs were on average set 16% above scientific advice, an increase of 9% from 2018. Early negotiations for the Baltic Sea and deep sea TACs are currently set higher than expert advice.
NEF found that Sweden was the leading country with a little over 50% of all their TACs set higher than that of scientific advice for the Northeast Atlantic fishing region, with the UK and Ireland following at 24% and 22%, respectively. In terms of excess volume, the UK, Denmark, and Ireland were the worst perpetrators with 106,925, 49,914, and 34,052 tonnes, respectively. The study further explains that this overfishing has resulted in Ireland’s mackerel MSC-certification being suspended, affecting not only Ireland, but Norway and the Faroe Islands. Finally, the study believes that if EU fishing waters were managed correctly and damaged fishing stocks were rebuilt, while other stocks were fished at maximum sustainable yield, the full potential of this industry could be reached within one generation.
European seas are a hub of human activities that can influence each other. Maritime transport, for one, is so widespread that it inevitably affects sectors working in, on, or with the ocean. Now, for the first time, those responsible for monitoring shipping emissions, identifying the best routes to lay pipelines and cables, assessing the impact of fishing on the seafloor, or planning offshore wind farms can have free and open access to maps and the underlying raster files of vessel activity. The EMODnet Human Activities team has developed a bespoke method for developing vessel density maps, in close consultation with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC). The new EMODnet digital vessel density maps allow users to visualise vessel movement patterns and the distribution of maritime traffic in European waters. The service provides access to monthly composite maps by ship type. Information coming from the new EMODnet digital vessel density maps will supplement the thematic and sectoral assessments of the European Environment Agency.
Maps are available free of charge for viewing, downloading, processing, and using for commercial and non-commercial purposes alike from the EMODnet Human Activities portal. "Vessel density maps have been around for quite a while, but this EMODnet data product is different. In addition to being 100% free, it offers comprehensive and regularly updated digital maps that can be used without restriction. That’s great value for (no) money for users,” explained Alessandro Pititto from COGEA, Coordinator of EMODnet Human Activities. Density is expressed as the number of hours spent by ships in a square kilometre over a month. Data are collected from Automatic Identification System (AIS) receivers that track and transmit the location of the ships’ on-board transponders. On the EMODnet vessel density maps, a colour gradient makes it possible to quickly distinguish whether an area is characterised by high or low shipping traffic. Traffic is broken down by ship types: cargo, dredging or underwater operations, high-speed craft, fishing, military and law enforcement, passenger, pleasure craft, sailing, service, tanker, tug and towing, other, unknown.
Karavela, a Latvian producer of canned fish products has acquired Larsen Danish Seafood, a German company also specialised in canned seafood. The acquisition gives Karavela a brand that is highly visible on the German and Danish markets and is well represented in many of the big retail chains, reports Dienas Bizness, a Latvian website for business news. The manufacturing equipment has been transferred to Karavela’s plant in Riga to ensure the continued production of the entire Larsen Danish assortment, which includes products based on Atlantic mackerel, herring, salmon, smoked herring and trout. Karavela has been eyeing Larsen Danish since 2014, said Andris Bite, a member of the Karavela board, as like Karavela, it is a highly innovative company. We could also assure the former owners that we would continue the established Larsen Danish traditions and honour any previously concluded agreements, he added. Karavela will continue to buy raw materials from the former owners of Larsen Danish Seafood. Janis Endele, the marketing director at Karavela, plans to reach 5-7% of the German market for canned fish over the next two years and in 2019 alone expects the new acquisition to boost turnover by approximately EUR4m. The Larsen Danish name will join Karavela’s existing brands Kaija and Arnold Sørensen. Karavela also exports a large part of its production under private label to markets in Scandinavia, the UK and Germany.
The Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP) celebrated its 50th anniversary on 29 November 2018 with an event entitled “We are the Solution” in Brussels. FEAP represents a profession producing over 20 species of fish including salmon, trout, seabass, seabream etc. The conference traced the evolution of aquaculture and FEAP’s role over the past 50 years and, more importantly, focused on the future development of the sector. Technology has already enabled almost unthinkable advances in efficiency, particularly in countries like Norway. Where six people produced 180 tonnes of farmed fish in 1986, in 2015 four workers produced 12,000 tonnes. Technology also makes it possible to farm in more exposed areas and to higher standards of fish welfare, and with fewer environmental impacts. It will also help in combating the problems of escapes and sea lice (in case of salmon). Technology is, however, only one of the inputs into the sector. Fish feeds, another vital factor, will continue to evolve, containing less fishmeal and fish oil and depending more on novel raw materials that will positively impact feed efficiencies and the health and welfare of fish. It is these developments and other that will make it possible to produce the estimated 30m tonnes of fish needed to feed the global population in 2050 in the face of stable catches of wild fish. Competing visions for the industry were also aired at the event with one speaker emphasising the importance of low impact fish farming using an ecosystem-based model that captured and reused nutrients to prevent environmental degradation and to change the negative perception of aquaculture prevalent among parts of the public. Building a positive image of the industry as well as creating an awareness of the health benefits of fish are the goals of the Farmed in the EU campaign. At least two countries, Lithuania and Ireland, have started programmes with school children to inform them about the socioeconomic, nutritional, and environmental role of European aquaculture. Giving future generations the wherewithal to make informed decisions about the aquaculture sector will contribute to a competitive and dynamic industry in the future, as envisioned by FEAP.
To date no record of microplastics has been discovered in marine farmed fish. However, media attention on this issue grows exponentially and has a direct impact on consumers purchasing seafood products. The reality is, however, that similar problems affect terrestrial farming. APROMAR is leading a project, ACUIPLAS, that will analyse the possible problems caused by the contamination by plastic waste in three aquaculture species; seabream, sea bass, and turbot, to rule out the presence of microplastics in them. In addition, the project will perform water and feed analyses. The project started with a bibliographic study of contamination by plastic waste and associated toxic substances to identify possible direct and indirect incidences of plastics in marine aquaculture products and especially, in growing species in protected Natura 2000 areas. This work is in its development phase after which sampling and analytics will be carried out using infrared spectroscopy. The results obtained will lead to the identification of strategic measures and a set of good practices to minimize incidences of plastic waste which will be applied throughout the aquaculture sector in Spain. This project is developed in collaboration with CTAQUA, the Biodiversity Foundation, and the Ministry for Environment, and is co-financed by the EMFF. Preliminary results will be presented in October.
Russia will host for the first time a scientific researchers conference about preventing unregulated fishing in the Arctic. The conference which will be held in Arkhangelsk from 12-13 April 2019, will feature international scientists who will discuss water storage and management. Organisers hope during the conference that the participants will discuss a range of topics including the Central Arctic Ocean Monitoring Programme, scientific documentation exchange issues, additional regulations and procedures controlling joint scientific events, as well as adjustment measures. Signatories of the agreement are the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Canada, the Kingdom of Norway, the Kingdom of Denmark (in respect of the Faroe Islands and Greenland), Iceland, the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, Japan and the European Union.
The Italian Embassy and the Italian Cultural Institute in Copenhagen invited the Italian artist and environmental advocate Massimo Catalani to present his work and its contribution to marine protection. The presentation was held at the National Aquarium Denmark – Den Blå Planet, and was introduced by Luigi Ferrari, the Italian ambassador to Denmark.
Along the coast of Tuscany illegal bottom trawling was destroying the seabed. To counter this, a decision to submerge 10-tonne concrete blocks was made by the local community. These blocks, would destroy nets and gear and at the same time provide an ecosystem for fish and other organisms to thrive. Massimo Catalani began sculpturing huge granite blocks instead of the concrete ones to raise awareness of the environmental impact we humans have on nature and at the same time to “give something beautiful back to the sea.” His massive sculptures contain depictions of fish and other sea creatures and are painted with a special glow-in-the-dark paint and have drawn attention to bottom trawling in Italy and beyond. He and other artists are now looking for funding to continue the work and contributions can be made to www.casadeipesci.it
Gdansk Poland will again hold the joint 2019 POLFISH and FOODEXPO from 29 to 31 May under the roof of the Amberexpo Exhibition and Convention Centre. POLFISH in its 15th year promises to be Poland’s only and one of the largest specialised seafood trade shows in Europe. While FOODEXPO Food and HoReCa Fair again promises to be the largest food exhibition in northern Poland. This year’s event wil feature a who’s who of Polish seafood producers and importers. The extensive list of exhibitors covers the needs of the individual or company ranging from fish products to furnishings for fish shops.
Exhibitors will display products ranging from traditional fresh fish to canned and added-value products. In addition, there will be offerings from other food sectors. The latest industry technology will also be on show represented by manufactures and distributors of the equipment, from fishing gear and aquaculture production through to processing technology lines and packaging of seafood products.
There will also be displays from the world’s largest occupational health and safety brands presenting the latest in cleaning and safety products for food processers and the HoReCa sector. These products Include cleaning agents, protective clothing and cutlery just to name a few. Solutions in transport will also be on offer with participants highlights the latest technology for refrigeration transport, vehicle monitoring and innovative software. The fairs are expected to attract over 5,000 visitors from 30 countries representing all facets of the industry. For more information or registration please visit http://www.polfishfair.pl/
Seafood Expo Russia 2019 has started to register visitors. Russia's main industry exhibition will take place from 10 July to 12 July 2019 along with the Global Fishery Forum at the Expoforum Convention and Exhibition Center in St. Petersburg. This year, the event is dedicated to Fisherman's Day, the professional industry holiday, which is traditionally celebrated in Russia on the second weekend of July. More than 250 companies from 25 countries will participate in the main industry event presenting not only a wide range of fish and seafood, but also equipment and technology including packaging solutions for fishing, aquaculture, and fish processing. In addition, the event will address the shipping industry with companies demonstrating equipment and navigation systems for vessels, shipbuilding and ship repair services, as well as cargo shipping and storage, and financial and insurance facilities.
Registration for Seafood Expo Russia 2019 is free. Visitors can exchange their e-tickets for a badge at check-in desks on any day of the exhibition. An interesting business program is planned for the exhibition and will be finalized shortly. In 2018, the exhibition was visited by more than seven thousand people from 30 regions of Russia and 50 countries. Most of the visitors were professionals from the fishing and related industries, ship owners, traders, representatives of retail companies and restaurant businesses. More than 70% of the visitors came to the exhibition to learn more about fish, seafood, fishing equipment and processing technology. A smaller percentage was represented by those interested in shipbuilding, ship repair, ship equipment, cargo transportation, storage, packing, feeds and equipment designed for aquaculture.
In 2019, the total number of visitors is expected to increase by at least 20%, to nine thousand people. To date, more than half of the exhibition space has already been pre-booked. The III Global Fishery Forum's business programme is devoted to the development of fishing in the ocean, the challenges associated with the management of economic and environmental risks and ways to solve social problems faced by the fishing industry. The main theme is “Ocean of Opportunities: Nature, Economy, Man.” The organiser of Seafood Expo Russia is the Expo Solutions Group.
This year, 2019, marks the year that the landing obligation comes into full effect. This ends the four-year phasing-in period. All catches of regulated commercial species are required to be landed and counted against the quota throughout the EU. This aims to stop the unsustainable practice of throwing unwanted fish back into the sea. However, reports show that the majority of the fish thrown back does not survive. Scientists believe that this will encourage fisherman to adapt and invest in selective gears to reduce these unwanted landings and improve the sustainability of fish stocks, however, they warn that there could be initial hardship for the industry and that fisheries data maybe compromised as this obligation is very difficult to monitor. Few within the industry believe that fishing vessels will follow the obligation. Currently, fisheries ministers throughout the EU are working on trade quota deals to ease the pressure on the industry.