Reply by Joao Aguiar Machado, Director General, European Commission to the AAC advice on labelling of caviar.

Reply by Joao Aguiar Machado, Director General, European Commission to the Joint advice of AAC-MAC on Presence of Tetrodotoxin in shellfish .

This presentation was done by the AAC Executive Secretary, Cécile Fouquet, on the 2nd October at the Copernicus Workshop on fisheries and aquaculture. 

EU aquaculture is the world leader in sturgeon farming and caviar production. The current rules on caviar labelling are mainly related to compliance with the rules governing the movement and marketing of species and their products subject to CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Reg. EC n. 338/1997).

This position paper adresses the level-playing field for the aquaculture market. The aquaculture sector must be profitable to be able to make the investments neeeded to operate while profitability is only possible if the products are competitive with imports from third countries. 

On June 5th, 2018, the European Commission asked the AAC to provide advice on measures to be taken to best undertake the recovery of European eels (Anguilla anguilla) due to the critical situation of its stock.
This document details the views of the AAC on this matter. With this advice, the AAC expects the European Commission to take effective management measures to improve the situation of the eel stock for the sake of the natural environment, of stakeholders and of society in general.

This joint advice presents the views of the Aquaculture Advisory Council and the Market Advisory Council on Tetrodotoxin (TTX), a potent neurotoxin that is found in the organs of a variety of marine species and some terrestrial species; it is responsible for the highest fatality rate of all marine intoxications. 

The European Parliament adopted the report "Towards a sustainable and competitive European aquaculture sector: current status and future challenges" on the 25th may 2018.

Veterinary vaccines play a major role in protecting animal health by preventing and controlling serious epizootic diseases and by preventing animal-to-human transmission of infectious diseases. The availability of vaccines for farmed aquatic animals, as well as other veterinary medicinal products, is extremely low.

Executive summary

As global aquaculture grows, and exceeds the production output of fisheries, ensuring the welfare of fishes at slaughter is paramount. In the European Union (EU), legislation protects fishes at slaughter based on a general principle of avoiding suffering. However, the European Commission have stated that a thorough assessment of farmed fish slaughter will be conducted, with a view to introducing more specific rules to the slaughter regulation to protect fishes.