THE FISH INSPECTOR GENERAL Number December World Congress on by slapshotmel


									THE FISH INSPECTOR                               Number 63                        December 2004


6th World Congress on Seafood Safety
        Seafood Services Australia (SSA) and the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council (NZSIC) will
jointly host the 6th World Congress on Seafood Safety, Quality and Trade (formerly the World Fish
Inspection & Quality Control Congress). This is the first time the Congress is being held in the
Southern Hemisphere.
        The Congress will take place from 14 to 16 September 2005 at Star City, Sydney, NSW and
would be held back to back with the Australian Seafood Industry Council (ASIC) biennial ‘Seafood
Directions Conference’ to be held at the same venue from 12-14 September 2005.
        The week, 11-17 September 2005 promises to be the best ever for the seafood industry as,
besides these events, there will also be the Fine Food Australia (Exhibition) at Darling Harbour (12-15
September) and many other activities (tours, cooking demonstrations, etc) at the Sydney Fish Market.
There will be something for everyone!
        The Congress with the theme “Balancing the Scales”, focuses on a number of key challenges
involved in balancing the need for safe food with the need to facilitate trade. Many renowned speakers
will present diverse views on current international issues to stimulate debate. In addition to this,
technical workshops will focus on important food safety issues.
        Jayne Gallagher, IAFI Board member representing the South Pacific Region, stated that they
are particularly keen to have maximum participation by people from developing and emerging
economies and hence have developed sponsorship packages for delegates from these areas.
Seafood is the most traded commodity in the world and it is of paramount importance to the welfare of
many countries, added Ms. Gallagher.
        SSA/NZSIC has established a Congress programme committee which is working hard to
ensure a thought-provoking programme. An exclusive website on the event will be set up shortly and
the brochures made available by early November.
        For further details, consult IAFI website, Join IAFI!

WHO International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN)
      To promote the exchange of information and to improve collaboration among food safety
authorities, WHO is building a new International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN). A food
safety emergency network (INFOSAN EMERGENCY) will be an integral part of INFOSAN. More
information is available at: or by contacting
Mr Jørgen Schlundt (Tel: +41 22 791 3445 – E-mail:
      Source: Food Safety News No. 11, Aug 2004

FAO/WHO: Workshop on residues of veterinary drugs
      FAO, in association with WHO organised a workshop in Bangkok, Thailand, during 24-26
August 2004 to identify the scientific, technical and regulatory problems related to the detection of
trace amounts of chloramphenicol and nitrofurans in animal products and to recommend appropriate
follow-up actions. The workshop papers and final report of the workshop are now available at:
       Source: Food Safety and Quality Update No. 22, Oct 2004

Shewanella putrefaciens and Shewanella alga pathogenicity
       The taxon Shewanella putrefaciens (Pseudomonas putrefaciens), comprises a group of gram-
negative oxidative and non-oxidative bacilli whose chief phenotypic attribute is the production of
hydrogen sulphide gas (H2S) on TSI slants. S. putrefaciens is the chief marine fish spoiler. In 1990,
the Japanese scientists proposed the name, Shewanella alga for a tetrodotoxin-producing isolate
recovered from red algae. Both S. putrefaciens and S. alga are uncommon as isolates from human
clinical syndromes, their natural habitats being all forms of water, fish, oily foodstuffs, and soil. S. alga
appears to be more closely related to human illness than S. putrefaciens. Nevertheless, S.
putrefaciens also shows significant pathogenic potential, mainly under special environmental
circumstances. Indeed, most of the reported infections were related to contact with contaminated
waters or injuries in which integrity of the skin was compromised to some extent. In addition, isolation
of S. putrefaciens occurred in polymicrobial infections. Present knowledge indicates that both bacteria
should probably be regarded as emerging opportunistic pathogens in taking care of
immunosuppressed patients.
       Source: L Pagani et al (2003). Soft tissue infection and bacteraemia caused by Shewanella
putrefaciens. J Clinical Microbiology, 41 (5) May 2003:2240-2241 and S Khase & J M Jande (1998).
Biochemical and chemical properties of Shewanella alga and Shewanella putrefaciens. J Clinical
Microbiology, 36 (3) Mar 1998:783-787.

Technological advance: Slurry ice systems
       The application of slurry ice systems - consisting of ice-water suspensions prepared from
marine water chilled at subzero temperatures for the storage of aquatic food products is receiving
increasing attention. Such binary systems, described in the scientific literature as flow ice, fluid ice,
slush ice or liquid ice, afford two main advantages concerning the handling and storage of seafood. A
faster chilling rate as compared with flake-ice or refrigerated seawater (RSW), deriving from its higher
heat-exchange capacity, and the reduced physical damage caused to seafood products by its
spherical microscopic particles as compared with conventional ice. Oxidation and dehydration
mechanisms may also be limited by the overall coverage of the whole surface of the products.
       Source: C Piñeiro J et al, Trends in Fd. Sci. Technol. 15(12), Dec 2004: 575-582

Ghana: Regional workshop in West Africa on WTO and Fisheries
      The FAO Fisheries Department in co-operation with INFOPECHE organised a regional
workshop on the WTO and Fisheries in Accra, Ghana from August 31 - September 3, 2004. Topics
included fish trade issues, fish quality and safety, market access, EU quality requirements, fishing
access agreements and legislative issues. Participants were from the national fisheries, trade and
customs administrations, and also included veterinary inspectors, academics and representatives
from the fishery industry and NGOs. The workshop was part of a FAO Trust Fund Project funded by
SIDA of Sweden. For further details and more information about the workshop contact, William
Emerson of FAO at or Amadou Tall of INFOPECHE at

Namibia: INFOSA professionals visit INFOFISH
       Two professionals from INFOSA, based in Namibia, visited INFOFISH, Malaysia, for a
familiarization exercise and training. INFOSA is the regional marketing and technical advisory
services project within the framework of the FISHINFONetwork, covering the Southern African
countries. Dr (Ms) Luisa Arthur, Quality Assurance Officer, INFOSA, focused her visit on the technical
advisory services and visits to seafood processing facilities including discussions with relevant
national departments of INFOFISH member countries on HACCP implementation and monitoring of
EU regulations.
       Source: INFOFISH International 5/2004:80.

Yemen: Conference on Traceability, quality and environment
       INFOSAMAK “Centre for Marketing Information and Advisory Services for Fishery Products in
the Arab Region”, a member of the FISH INFONetwork set up by GLOBEFISH, organized an
International Conference on “Traceability, Quality and Environment of Fishery Products” from 6 - 8
December 2004 in Mukalla (Hadramout Governorate), Yemen. This was in conjunction with a
Business Meeting. The event was organized with the collaboration of the FAO with the support of the
Common Fund for Commodities (CFC). The aim of this conference was to help seafood exporters in
the Arab Region to better understand the implications of this new regulation. Additional information is
provided online at: Information can also be obtained from
Mr. Mohammed Ichibane, Fish Processing and Quality Specialist, INFOSAMAK, 71, Bd Rahal El
Meskini, 20000 Casablanca, Morocco, Phone: +212 22 54 08 56, Fax: +212 22 54 08 55, URL:


China: EU lifts ban on Chinese products
        The members in the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health agreed on a
European Commission proposal to authorize the import of products of animal origin, including seafood
products, from China into the EU. These restrictions were in place since January 2002 after traces of
antibiotic residues were detected in products of animal origin imported from China. Among other
measures, the Chinese have undertaken to test all consignments for export and to issue a sanitary
certificate only for those consignments found to be in conformity with EU requirements.
        Source: INFOFISH International 5/2004: 53.

Taiwan: Stricter control for eel export
       Consequent to the detection of antibiotic residue in eel shipments to Japan, the Council of
Agriculture’s Fisheries Administration, Taiwan has started monitoring and has requested eel farmers
to exercise self discipline. Taiwan exports almost 90% of its eel production to Japan. The Fisheries
Administration will take a number of measures to enforce testing for the antibiotic enroflaxin and
implement a certification system for eel exports. An announcement in this regard is expected soon. In
October 2003, a number of live and processed eels were found to contain sulfamethazine and this
prompted Japan to impose a strict testing regime on all Taiwanese eel imports. Since then
government officials have been urging eel growers to follow norms regulating antibiotics in eel and not
to use unapproved chemicals.
       The government and the eel farming industry have taken a number of steps to tighten
monitoring on eel exports and have enforced testing for residues of five antibiotics including
sulphamethazine, which is used to treat eel infections. Although Japan lifted its inspection order on
eel imports from Taiwan last August, a number of isolated cases of antibiotic residues in eels imported
from Taiwan prompted Japanese authorities to put the order back into effect. Taiwanese Fishery
Administration officials feel that monitoring of the hygiene compliance in eel breeding farms, tightening
of the control procedures, campaign against use of illegal pesticides and enhancing testing for banned
antibiotics will help to regain confidence in the Japanese market.
       Source: FIS - World News, October 19, 2004.

Thailand: Gnasthostoma infections in fish sold in Nakhon Nayok Province
       Gnasthostomiasis, caused by roundworms (Nematodes) of the genus Gnasthostoma, is a
serious helminthic disease that has posed major health problems among the Thai people for a long
time. This is not only because of the constantly high incidence of infection, but also for the ineffective
results of medical treatment. The infection is primarily acquired by eating raw or improperly cooked
meat, especially fish, leading to the clinical syndrome, cutaneous and/or visceral larva migrans.
       Gnasthostomiasis is considered to be an important disease re-emerging across the Asian
continent, especially in Thailand and Japan, and in Latin America (Mexico and Ecuador). Sporadic
cases have been reported in many other countries. Infected people going to live/work abroad,
emigrants acquiring the infection in endemic countries and overseas travellers are those suffering
from the disease after returning home.
       In a recent study in several local markets in Nakhon Nayok Province, Thailand, 8 (eight)
freshwater fish species that had grown naturally, rather than raised commercially, were found to be
infected with gnasthostome larvae. The overall prevalence was 5.1% and a total of 5,969 larvae were
recovered. The highest rate of infection was found in the swamp eel (Monopterus albus). The rates in
the remaining infected fish were as follows; climbing perch (Anabas testudineus) 7.7%, striped snake-
head (Channa striata) 7.4%, walking catfish (Clarius macrocephalus) 6.7%, giant snake-head
(Channa micropeltes) 5.1%, blotched snake-head (Channa lucius) 4.0%, batrachian walking catfish
(Clarius batrachus) 1.4%, and butter sheatfish (Ompok krattensis) 0.6%. The mean number of
larvae/fish was highest in swamp eels (10.0 larvae/eel), and the maximum number of 698 larvae was
recovered from one eel.
       Source: W. Rojekittikhun et al. (2004). The Southeast Asian J. of Tropical Medicine and Public
Health, 35 (3) Sep 2004:518-522.


Russia: Opisthorchiasis from imported raw fish
       Liver fluke infection caused by Opisthorchiidae is a major public health problem in many parts
of the Far East, Southeast Asia, and Eastern Europe. However, with the growing volume of
international travel and population migration, the infection is increasingly diagnosed in countries
where the disease is not endemic, particularly in North America. While ample information is available
on the biology and epidemiology of liver fluke infection in Southeast Asia, (recently summarized in a
special issue of Acta Tropica, which reports in English) the information on the situation in the former
Soviet Union is scarce. Because so many persons have emigrated from the former USSR to Western
countries in recent years, physicians in these countries should be more familiar with the condition;
thus, review of the epidemiology of opisthorchiasis in former USSR is appropriate.
       Source: O. Yossepowitch et al (2004) Opisthorchiasis from imported raw fish. Emerging
Infectious        Diseases        [serial      on         the     Internet].      Available        from


Loss of Juan Cuellar
       On 21 October 2004 Dr. Juan Cuellar died suddenly in Buenos Aires, Argentina from a cardio-
respiratory condition. Juan was a dear colleague, particularly for those members of the Pan-American
Network on Fish Inspection and Quality Control where he was a founding member and a strong pillar.
Juan’s last positing was in the Institute for Food Protection (INPPAZ), Pan-American Health
Organization (PAHO) – World Health Organization (WHO), Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Canada: Pacific Fisheries Technologists Annual Conference
       International Association of Fish Inspectors (IAFI) members have a special invitation and
registration fee offer from the Pacific Fisheries Technologists (PFT) to attend their upcoming 56th
Annual Conference in Vancouver, BC, Canada, on February 20-23, 2005. The “Pacific Fisheries
Technologists” consists of a dynamic mix of fisheries technologists from Alaska to Mexico
representing the seafood industry, suppliers & processors, government, academia, and research
organizations in the Pacific West Coast. This group has been meeting annually for the past 56 years
to talk on subjects of common interest in fisheries technology. The location of the annual meeting
rotates from South to North (Mexico, California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska),
and in 2005 it will be British Columbia’s turn to host the event.
       A special registration fee has been arranged for members of IAFI. They only need to indicate
the membership status on the PFT Registration Form for a reduction in their attendance fee to $200
CDN, which is valid until January 15, 2005, (full registration fee of $250 CDN will apply after that).
Further details can be obtained from Ralph Drew, President, Pacific Fisheries Technologists, Tel: 604-
681-0211, Fax: 604-681-3277, email: For the latest updates on the
conference programme and related activities, please go through PFT website at

USA: Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling
       The United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA AMS)
published the interim final rule on September 30, 2004 for Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling of
Fish and Shellfish, under the U.S. Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (U.S. Farm Bill).
The interim final rule will become effective April 4, 2005 and will cover those companies involved in
exporting fish products intended for retail sale in the U.S.
       Under the interim final rule, farm-raised and wild fish and shellfish sold by U.S. retailers must be
labelled to indicate their country of origin and method of production (wild and/or farm-raised). The rule
also outlines the criteria which must be met to label products as country of origin “United States” and
the record keeping requirements for retailers and their suppliers.
       To obtain a copy of the interim final rule or for the latest information on the subject, refer to
USDAMS website,

USA: Seafood Technical Innovations Conference
      The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) the largest seafood trade association in the U.S. and the
University of Florida in association with Florida Sea Grant Program are sponsoring a “2005 Seafood
Technical Innovations Conference”. The conference will be held in Orlando, FL (USA) from 31
January to 3 February, 2005. The conference will feature a variety of technical topics to assist Quality
Control and Research and Development and Production personnel in their jobs. A special symposium
on the Use of carbon monoxide and filtered smoke is sponsored by the University of Florida; Aquatic
Food Product Programme and Florida Sea Grant Programme. More information can be obtained in
the NFI website:>

USA: Task force on biotoxins
        A new task force chaired by Dr. James Hungerford (US Food and Drug Administration, Seafood
Products Research Center, Bothell, WA USA) under the auspices of the AOAC International will work
on prioritizing, funding, and accelerating validation studies of methods for marine and freshwater
toxins. The task force has 63 members, consisting of marine and freshwater toxin experts and also
government and industry stakeholders from many countries that are major seafood producers, and is
still expanding. Future meetings will be held in Bayone, Spain, April 2005 (joint Toxin Symposium),
Seattle, June 2005 (AOAC NW Regional Meeting), Mobile Bay, Alabama (ISSC annual national
meeting) August 2005, and Hawaii (Pacifichem 2005). The new Task Force website can be accessed
at:, and the current Task Force membership is also
listed in the website. For further information on the Marine and Freshwater Toxins Task Force,
contact: Dr. James M. Hungerford, Research Chemist, Seafood Products Research Center, PRL/NW
FDA, 22201 23rd Dr SE, Bothell, WA 98021, Tel: 425-483-4894, Fax: 425-483-4996, E-mail:

Book on Traceability
     EUROFISH has published “A Guide to Traceability within the Fish Industry” by S. Derrick and
M. Dillon. This publication could be purchased from: EUROFISH; PO Box 0896; DK 2100
Copenhagen, Denmark. E-mail:

The next issue of THE FISH INSPECTOR will be distributed in March 2005. Please forward any information you
may wish to have disseminated through this newsletter to: Mr C A Lima dos Santos, Rua Cel. Eurico Gomes de
Sousa 510 Cob 01, Jardim Oceanico – Barra da Tijuca, 22620-320 Rio de Janeiro, RJ – BRASIL, Tel: +55 21
2491-0704; E-mail:

Editor-in-Chief: S Subasinghe - INFOFISH, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Spanish Translation: Nelson Avdalov, Graciela Pereira & Gloria Scelza - INFOPESCA, Montevideo, Uruguay.
Portugese Translation: Carlos Lima dos Santos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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