Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

December 02, 2009 15:46 ET

Minister Shea Launches New Catch Certification Office to Support Exporters of Fish and Seafood Products to European Union

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 2, 2009) - The Department of Fisheries and Oceans today opened its new Catch Certification Office to support Canadian exports of fish and seafood products affected by European Union (EU) regulatory requirements that go into effect on January 1, 2010.

The EU is the second-largest market for Canada, importing $489 million (CDN) in fish and seafood products in 2008.

"The global fish and seafood marketplace is evolving to support sustainability and combat harmful practices such as illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing", said the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. "I'm pleased our Government has worked quickly and collaboratively with provincial governments and the fishing industry to ensure that Canadian exporters of fish and seafood products are able to respond and adjust to these new market requirements."

The new EU regulation establishes measures to address illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and applies to any country exporting fish and seafood products to the EU. Under these regulations, the national government of an exporting country must provide a catch certificate attesting that the fish and seafood products originate from non-IUU fisheries.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), in collaboration with provincial governments and industry representatives, has developed a process for issuing the necessary EU catch certificates. DFO's new Catch Certification Office and user-friendly online application system (called the Fisheries Certificate System) will enable qualified applicants to acquire the certificates promptly.

New market demands for information about fish and seafood products are driven by increasing consumer awareness of the origin and safety of food products, as well as regulatory and non-regulatory changes to promote legal and sustainable fishing practices.

Implementing a traceability process such as the catch certificate system will provide an array of benefits to the fishing industry, including improved supply chain management, documentation of sustainable management practices, a basis for meeting other regulatory and non-regulatory market requirements in the future, and easier compliance with labelling laws.

Backgrounder: Canada's response to new EU traceability requirements

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Alain Belle-Isle
    Media Relations
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Jeff MacDonald
    Director General, Shared Stewardship