Seafood body offers labelling guidance as EU regulations near

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Baltic sea

New guidance on seafood labelling has been published by Seafish
New guidance on seafood labelling has been published by Seafish
Seafish, the seafood industry body, has published a guide to help suppliers and caterers adapt to new EU seafood labelling regulations.

The document runs through the legislative changes that cover how seafood is sourced, which come into force next month.

From 13 December, new EU rules mean consumers must be provided with details of the fishing gear used to catch their seafood.

They should also be made aware of the shelf life of some products, and whether products have been defrosted.

In some cases, a more precise indication of the catch area will also be required.

Specific details

The biggest change concerns anything caught in the north-east Atlantic. From next month, consumers should be given more specific details of the area the seafood is caught – for example, the North Sea, the Baltic Sea or the Bristol Channel.

The same will apply to the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

Seafish legislation manager Peter Wilson believed that the new catch area requirements were "a significant change" and one that "requires the industry to consider how this information can be made available throughout the supply chain".

The new regulations build on existing legislation that requires consumers are told the commercial designation, species, production method and catch area for unprocessed seafood products.

Enquiry levels

These initial regulations only came into force in December 2013, and Wilson said Seafish has been receiving a high level of enquiries ever since.

He explained: "Industry members were looking for support in the interpretation of these new requirements, and guidance on how their products should be labelled.

"This new guidance has been produced in response to these enquiries and aims to ensure that this legislation is well-understood by the industry, so that it can be fully prepared for these new developments in December."

Guide details

The guide​ is available on the Seafish website. It explains what information is required and provides current guidance on how it applies to fish and shellfish.

Funded by a levy on the first sale of seafood landed in the UK, Seafish was set up to help the seafood industry become more sustainable and profitable.

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