These guidelines have been produced to support the implementation of the Code of Conduct particularly regarding the post-harvest sector of the fish producing industry.
Fish industry responsibilities
The industry that produces fish for food has three major areas of responsibility:
- to the consumer to ensure that it is safe to eat, is of the expected quality and nutritional value;
- to the resource to ensure that it is not wasted and;
- to the environment to ensure that negative impacts are minimized.
In addition, the industry has a responsibility to itself to ensure the continued ability of many millions of people throughout the world to earn a gainful living from working within the industry.
International trade in fish
Article 11 of the Code of Conduct underscores that international trade in fish and fishery products shall not compromise the sustainable development of fisheries and responsible utilisation of living aquatic resources. Quality and safety measures applied by member states affecting trade should be transparent, based on scientific evidence and in accordance with internationally agreed rules.
In particular, provisions of the Code shall be interpreted and applied in accordance with the countries' rights and obligations under the World Trade Organization agreements.
The Code also states that countries should eliminate barriers and distortions to trade such as duties, quotas and non-tariff barriers, and they should not create unnecessary or hidden barriers to trade. With about 50 percent of world exports of fish and fishery products originating in developing countries, this principle is especially important.
Guidelines on responsible international trade and laws and regulations relating to fish trade are currently being developed.