There’s a ‘lot’ to be gained from effective seafood traceability

Date: April 24, 2020

Strong control measures for grouped fishery and aquaculture products placed in lots are key to tackling IUU fishing

The current European Union (EU) fisheries Control Regulation came into force in 2010 and put into place a unified EU control system for ensuring rules of the Common Fisheries Policy are followed. The Control Regulation also sets out traceability requirements for seafood products along the supply chain, specifically referring to the constitution of grouped quantities of seafood products for transport and sale, known as ‘lots’, which must be traceable throughout.  The EU fisheries control system is currently being revised and the European Commission’s proposal sets out certain changes to the traceability of lots. 

The Environmental Justice Foundation, Oceana, The Nature Conservancy, The Pew Charitable Trusts and WWF, as part of the EU IUU Coalition, are working together to promote, better align and strengthen traceability systems in key seafood markets in efforts to end illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. As the handling of lots is a cornerstone of the seafood traceability system set up by the Control Regulation, the EU IUU Coalition has prepared a policy brief that provides an overview of how the revision process will address seafood lots. Specifically, we recommend that decision makers:

  • Support the provisions proposed by the European Commission relating to the establishment and traceability of lots.
  • Participate in, support or encourage implementation efforts towards a consistent, complementary and effective EU-wide digital data collection and sharing system.
  • Support the adoption of clear rules that ensure both processed and imported products are subject to strong traceability requirements.

The revision of the EU fisheries control system is a real opportunity to adopt a loophole-free system to tracing all seafood products. We strongly recommend supporting policies that will ensure a robust traceability system to prevent ill-gotten seafood from ending up on the plates of EU consumers.

Read the full policy brief

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