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Fisheries Committee wants enhanced transparency in seafood

  • 12 December 2023

In a recent report, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) stress the need for increased efforts in enhancing consumer information, market transparency, and traceability for fishery and aquaculture products within the European Union (EU). The report evaluates the implementation of the Common Market Organisation (CMO) on fisheries and aquaculture, highlighting the urgency for harmonized rules and improved monitoring across EU countries.

Approved with strong support, the report suggests that both EU-produced and imported aquatic food products should adhere to the same environmental and social sustainability standards. MEPs propose that trade agreements and regional fisheries management measures should specify the characteristics of all products to ensure uniform adherence to these standards.

Consumer Information and Labeling Standards

To empower consumers in making informed choices, MEPs call for comprehensive labeling standards. They urge the inclusion of information such as ingredients, geographical fishing area, fishing gear, and date of catch on product labels. Stressing the importance of effective traceability, they also advocate for a robust labeling system applicable to various forms of aquatic food products, including processed, fresh, and preserved items.

Recognition of Professional Organizations

The Fisheries Committee underscores the vital role played by "cofradías" and "prud’hommies" in allocating fishing quotas and fish conservation. They recommend recognizing these entities as professional organizations under the CMO Regulation, granting them similar responsibilities and eligibility for financial support. Additionally, MEPs call on the Commission to adapt CMO rules to include these organizations.

Market Intelligence and Crisis Management

MEPs emphasize the significance of market data provided by the European Market Observatory for Fisheries and Aquaculture Products (EUMOFA). They propose expanding the categories of fish products in EUMOFA's data to reflect emerging market trends. Additionally, MEPs advocate for improved digital tools and crisis reserve models, similar to those in other food sectors, to safeguard the fisheries and aquaculture sector during exceptional situations.

As the report gains approval, it sets the stage for a full House vote on the non-legislative resolution during one of the January 2024 plenary sessions. The call for increased transparency and standardized regulations underscores the commitment of MEPs to bolster the sustainability and integrity of the fisheries and aquaculture industry in the EU.

Source: Europees Parlement