This project reviewed the processes of dockside monitoring of seafood landings in EU ports and supply chain traceability of seafood products both landed by EU fishing fleets and imported into the EU from third countries. This report provided informative examples that will assist in the development of China’s system of port-based catch monitoring and product traceability. Traceability from an EU perspective starts at the border, which may be a port of landing or import, for imported seafood and the point of landing or production for domestically caught fish.
Several key features of both traceability and port inspection systems were highlighted that help to reduce the risk of products from IUU catches entering the supply chain:
Standardization is key throughout the implementation of both dockside monitoring and traceability. The same requirements for landing documents and import documents (EU catch certificate) exist across all MS. The EU also implements a level-playing field approach. This aims to maintain the capacity and training of each MS’s inspectors and the monitoring oversight (?) at the same level across the EU. This reduces the risk of weak links or “back doors” appearing in the EU that could be exploited by illegal operators. Efficient and effective information exchange is a key factor. Logbook data are standardized, and for all vessels over 12m they are electronic. Inspection data formats are also standardized and can be shared by all MS through an EU internal secure system. Catch certificates are also being gradually transferred over to an electronic system to bring them into this system.