Council and Parliament wrangle over fish labelling

The issue of fish labelling remains unresolved after the second trilogue meeting on the common market organisation.

The regulation on the common market organisation (CMO) is proceeding faster than the other files in the fisheries reform. The Council and the European Parliament both adopted their positions already 2012 and trilogue negotiations between the institutions started 27 February 2013.

You can compare the positions of the Council, Parliament and Commission in this three-column document.

The CMO regulation deals with issues such as the establishment and objectives of fishery producer organisations, a fish storage mechanism and marketing standards. On these issues, progress is reportedly being made in the discussions between Council and Parliament.

Fish Labelling
When it comes to the labelling of fish and fish products (articles 42–45), however, there is no agreement yet. Sources following the trilogues said that the Council and Parliament could not reach a common position on fish labelling in the second trilogue, Wednesday 27 March, and decided to postpone this issue to a third trilogue. The decision on what legal instrument to use (implementing or delegated acts) to amend or implement different aspects of the CMO regulation was also postponed.

The Commission’s original proposal was to make the date of catch mandatory information for fresh fish.

The Parliament voted in first reading to make the date of landing mandatory but date of catch voluntary information. The Parliament also wants the specific fish stock and gear type used to be mandatory information.

In its general approach, the Council states they want the scientific name to be mandatory information on labels, but they want neither the date of landing nor the date of catch to be mandatory.

The Parliament wants the Commission to propose legislation for an EU eco-label for fish, while the Council just wants the Commission to consider such a proposal.

Axel Naver

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