FISHING: Fishing Faces Stiff New Regulations
Recent Western Cape Business News
WITH regulations on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing now a reality facing every exporter to the European Union, the pressure on operators has never been greater to ensure that catches are registered and recorded in full compliance with the legislation.
Rodney Macer-Wright, general manager, Marel SA says the IUU fishing regulations have posed a challenge for South African fish exporters, who have traditionally not had the setup to package and label their products in the required fashion.
Today’s consumers increasingly pay attention to the origin and safety of the food products they buy. Reflecting this growing awareness, the European Union (EU) introduced the IUU fishing regulations in order to prevent the importing of illegally harvested seafood into the EU at the beginning of 2010.
All harvested seafood products now have to carry a label that guarantees that they were obtained legally, responsibly and without harming the marine environment. A catch certificate provided by the vessel operator or seafood exporter must accompany every shipment entering the EU, and has to be validated and countersigned by a government authority.
“Should South African companies wish to supply EU countries with seafood products they will have to provide catch certificates and label their products appropriately or else the products will not be accepted in the region,” he adds
With its experience and expertise in the field of traceability, Marel is now aiming to make it easy for companies in South Africa to comply with the IUU fishing regulations.
To help skippers and vessel operators to adapt their procedures to the IUU fishing regulations, Marel has developed Innova MarinePack, a purpose-built registration and packing system designed for use aboard any vessel that has to comply with EU regulations on fishing control and traceability.
Innova MarinePack is a complete plug-and-play hardware and software system for registering information about all fish species and grades, along with additional data such as point and time of catch, harbour, fishing gear and other relevant information.
Innova MarinePack also supports and complies with the e-logbook requirements currently in force for vessels longer than 24 metres, which will be extended to cover vessels longer than 15 metres in July of 2011.
At its most basic, the Innova MarinePack system requires nothing more than a scale, a Marel M2200 indicator and an Innova MarinePack software module. Thanks to its modular design, users only pay for what they actually need, and the system can readily be extended in keeping with the size of the vessel and nature of on-board operations to include a raft of other data, all of which is recorded and stored in real time and printed out on labels for attaching to boxes.
Apart from meeting EU requirements, the implementation of a reliable traceability process provides fisheries operators with an array of additional benefits, including improved supply chain management, potentially increased catch values, and readier compliance with labelling laws.
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