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Jim Higgins MEP for the North West has welcomed the now fully operation new EU fisheries control system which toughens an already established zero-tolerance stance on the issue.

"Traceability is central to these new rules, 'from net to plate'. It will enable Member states to spot wrongdoings along the market chain, and trace them back to the culprit. Inspections will be carried out in the same way all over Europe. Data will be collected and cross-checked electronically. So once the product reaches the stores, the consumer will know it has been fished legally.

Mr Higgins, who is a member of the European Parliament's Committee on Fisheries, says those involved in illegal practices like overfishing will be punished. "If someone breaks the law, they will face equally severe sanctions wherever they are and whatever their nationality. If they are caught fishing illegally repeatedly, thanks to a new point system they will end up losing their licence."

The Fine Gael MEP added that the EU now has the means to establish a real culture of compliance against overfishing to ensure a sustainable fisheries sector in Europe.
Published in Fishing
The Irish Wildlife Trust has welcomed the proposed EU ban on discarding fish as part of the Common Fisheries Policy.
The organisation said it was a "vital step" towards "restoring the ecological balance in Irish seas".
IWT chairman Pádraic Fogarty said: “Discarding is tremendously wasteful and is causing untold damage to our marine ecosystems."
EU fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki has described the practice of discarding as “unethical, a waste of natural resources and a waste of fishermen’s effort.”
The proposals to ban discards have come after a high-profile campaign against the practice of fishermen dumping dead fish, through which it emerged that half of all fish caught in the North Sea are thrown back.

The Irish Wildlife Trust has welcomed the proposed EU ban on discarding fish as part of the Common Fisheries Policy.

The organisation said it was a "vital step" towards "restoring the ecological balance in Irish seas".
IWT chairman Pádraic Fogarty said: “Discarding is tremendously wasteful and is causing untold damage to our marine ecosystems."

EU fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki has described the practice of discarding as “unethical, a waste of natural resources and a waste of fishermen’s effort.”

The proposals to ban discards have come after a high-profile campaign against the practice of fishermen dumping dead fish, through which it emerged that half of all fish caught in the North Sea are thrown back.

Published in Fishing
The Marine Institute has issued a statement congratulating Mr Simon Coveney TD on his new appointment as the Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food today (11th March 2011), during his visit on board the RV Celtic Explorer in Cork, after its return from the mission to the Labrador and Newfoundland Seas.

Seeing the capabilities of Ireland's largest research vessel and the work of the Marine Institute, Mr Simon Coveney highlighted the importance the Marine Sector has on the Irish economy. "The seas and ocean that surround the land of Ireland is arguably one of our countries greatest natural resources. Through marine research, development and sustainable management, Ireland is developing a strong reputation as an emerging centre of excellence, where we have prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies," he said.

Ireland's national research vessels RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager will record 627 days at sea between the two during 2011. Their work will range from fisheries surveys to underwater mapping and from climate studies to deepwater surveys with the remotely operated submersible ROV Holland 1.

"The work conducted on the vessels continues to feed into the success in attracting EU funding to Ireland's marine science programmes that have been achieved by our strategic approach to marine science planning" explained Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute.

"The award of funding projects shows that partnerships between academics and small businesses can yield significant dividends in creating jobs, generating economic revenue and the supply of raw materials for new industries ranging from ocean energy and environmental monitoring technologies to marine-inspired pharmaceuticals and food ingredients" he further said.

Published in Marine Science
The Canadian Government is challenging the European Union over its ban on seal products.
Canada has reportedly asked the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to arbitrate a formal dispute to assess the EU ban, which Canada alleges is a violation of WTO rules.
The EU ban on seal products was approved by all 27 member states in 2009 and came into force last year. According to Canada it has led to a decline in its seal product market of more than 50%.
Canada's fisheries minister Gail Shea accused the EU of siding with "animal rights lobbyists" over the ban.
The country has strict regulations regarding the hunting of seals, but the most efficient hunting method - commonly referred to as 'seal clubbing' - is highly controversial. Animal rights activists also claim that many seals are skinned alive, which is a prohibited practice.
However, the remote nature of seal hunting grounds makes enforcing regulations difficult.

The Canadian Government is challenging the European Union over its ban on seal products.

Canada has reportedly asked the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to arbitrate a formal dispute to assess the EU ban, which Canada alleges is a violation of WTO rules.

The EU ban on seal products was approved by all 27 member states in 2009 and came into force last year. According to Canada it has led to a decline in its seal product market of more than 50%.

Canada's fisheries minister Gail Shea accused the EU of siding with "animal rights lobbyists" over the ban.

The country has strict regulations regarding the hunting of seals, but the most efficient hunting method - commonly referred to as 'seal clubbing' - is highly controversial. Animal rights activists also claim that many seals are skinned alive, which is a prohibited practice.

However, the remote nature of seal hunting grounds makes enforcing regulations difficult.

Published in Marine Wildlife
Next time you buy fish at the supermarket, it may not be what it appears to be - according to the authors of a new paper on truth in food labelling in the European seafood industry.
Mother Jones reports that researchers from the School of Biology and Environmental Science at UCD found a surprising 25 per cent of haddock and cod products "randomly sampled from supermarkets, fishmongers' shops and take-away restaurants" in Dublin "were genetically identified as entirely different species from that indicated on the product labels."
The team also found that 28 out of 34 selected samples of smoked fish were found to be labelled incorrectly.
"These results indicate that the strict EU policies currently in place to regulate seafood labelling have not been adequately iimplemented and enforced," they said.
The paper – Smoke, mirrors, and mislabeled cod: poor transparency in the European seafood industry, by Dana D Miller and Stefano Mariani - is published in the current issue of the journal Frontoers in Ecology and the Environment.

Next time you buy fish at the supermarket, it may not be what it appears to be - according to the authors of a new paper on truth in food labelling in the European seafood industry.

Mother Jones reports that researchers from the School of Biology and Environmental Science at UCD found a surprising 25 per cent of haddock and cod products "randomly sampled from supermarkets, fishmongers' shops and take-away restaurants" in Dublin "were genetically identified as entirely different species from that indicated on the product labels".

The team also stated that 28 out of 34 selected samples of smoked fish were found to be labelled incorrectly.

"These results indicate that the strict EU policies currently in place to regulate seafood labelling have not been adequately iimplemented and enforced," they said.

The paper - Smoke, mirrors, and mislabeled cod: poor transparency in the European seafood industry, by Dana D Miller and Stefano Mariani - is published in the current issue of the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

Published in Fishing

The European Parliament and European Council have formally adopted a regulation giving new compensation rights to passengers using water transport. The regulation is expected to come into force at the end of 2012.

"People are entitled to enjoy the same levels of quality and safety wherever they travel within the European Union. I am very glad that after introducing rights for air and rail passengers, we are now also able to introduce similar rights for passengers travelling by water" said Siim Kallas, Commission Vice President and responsible for transport.

The new regulation that will enable passengers travelling by sea and by inland waterways to enjoy the same rights wherever they travel in the European Union. The information can be viewed in full from the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) website: www.imdo.ie

Below is a list of the new Passenger Rights.

 

•guarantee of reimbursement or rerouting in situations of cancellation or of delay at departure of more than 90 minutes;

•adequate assistance (such as snacks, meals, refreshments and, where necessary, accommodation up to three nights, with a financial coverage up to €80 per night) in situations of cancellation or delay at departure of more than 90 minutes;

•compensation, between 25% and 50% of the ticket price, in situations of delay in arrival or cancellation of journeys;

•non-discriminatory treatment and specific assistance free of charge for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility both at port terminals and on board ships, as well financial compensation for loss or damage of their mobility equipment;

•minimum rules on information for all passengers before and during their journey, as well as general information about their rights in terminals and on board ships;

•establishment by carriers and terminal operators of complaint handling mechanism available to passengers;

•establishment of independent national bodies for the enforcement of the regulation, through, where appropriate, the application of penalties.

In addition further detailed information about passenger rights in all modes of transport can be found HERE.

Published in Ports & Shipping
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