Friday, December 19, 2014

19/12/2014: Australian fish and chips may be subject to country-of-origin labelling

An Australian Senate review of seafood labelling laws has called for takeaway shops and restaurants to be required to state which countries fish comes from, the Guardian reports.

The rural and regional affairs and transport references committee recommended that the hospitality industry have 12 months until the “mandated extension of seafood country-of-origin labelling would be enforced”.

The committee’s report said the adoption of such labelling would “not be onerous” to the industry, citing the existing regime in the Northern Territory which requires prepared seafood be labelled “imported” if it is from another country.

Elsewhere in Australia, supermarkets or fish markets selling uncooked fish must have country-of-origin labelling but there is an exemption to these rules for restaurants, fish and chip shops and other takeaways.

An extension of labelling laws has been backed by environmentalists behind the Label My Fish campaign, certain fishers, the Greens and the independent senator Nick Xenophon, who wants the name “barramundi” protected so it can only apply to Australian-caught fish.

Pavo Walker, a commercial tuna fisherman from Queensland, said: “A tuna caught in the high seas by a vessel from Europe or Asia is a different prospect to one caught by a commonwealth fisherman in Australia.

“We need proper seafood labelling so the Australian fishing industry can distinguish its product from imports and reap the proper rewards for complying with a high level of regulation.”

Matt West, president of the Australian Prawn Farmers Association, said: “Next Christmas all seafood lovers should know exactly what they are buying. I am delighted that at last a powerful Senate inquiry has finally found the political will to make a firm recommendation in the consumers and the national interest.”

The Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson said still more should be done to protect the sustainability of Australia’s fisheries.

“The inquiry’s recommendations, whilst a step in the right direction, could still go further to achieving better ocean sustainability outcomes, which are long-term requirements for both the marketplace and marine stewardship,” he said.

“On the evidence presented at the inquiry, the Greens recommend a staged approach that would go beyond country-of-origin labelling by requiring mandatory fish naming standards, and sustainability and provenance labelling.”

Whish-Wilson said a bill would be presented to parliament in 2015 on seafood labelling. The government has yet to indicate its response to the committee’s report.

Read the article HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news

No comments:

Post a Comment

See our data and privacy policy Click here