BALOBESHAYI

African Women Voices

Fish in The Dish

There are things about the fish you are eating that you ignore and the truth is, you might never learn them.

Whether or not you will, depends on how the talks between the European Commission, Fishery Associations and member states ministers on fish labelling will turn out.

Laws on labels for canned and conserved fishes changed with the regulation 104/2000. This asks for fish labels to report the scientific name of the fish, its country of origins and how the fish was produced. Now it is being discussed the option of putting the date of the catch and landing as well. In other words, the day when the fish was taken from the sea and the actual date of arrival on the ground. The two might be very different and some argues this is a good way to judge the freshness of the fish.

For Dr Matthias Keller of the Bundes Verband Fisch (Fish Association) stated the information would be useless. Speaking yesterday at a journalism seminar on the Common Fishery Policy in Lübeck, he said:

“Customers do not need that much information.

“If they really want to know whether the fish is fresh they should rely on a fish seller they trust. Changing labels is expensive for small and big industries. And after all people do not read them.”

The European Union, on another hand, argues that transparency is pivotal for customers. In a publication dated February 2012, they said:

“Consumers should be clear about which fisheries products have been frozen and defrosted, particularly with regards to “so-called” fresh fish products.

“As far as canned fish products are concerned, mandatory information requires a date, whether or not the catch is sustainable, plus information about whether the item has been frozen and defrosted.”

Would you want this information on your labels?

© Nic Walker

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2 comments on “Fish in The Dish

  1. Jeff Nguyen
    31 October 2012

    Thank you for sharing this information.

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