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  1. Profile
    1. Basic legislation
    2. Legal definition
    3. Guidelines and codes of conduct
    4. International arrangements
  2. Planning
    1. Authorization system
    2. Access to land and water
    3. EIA
  3. Operation
    1. Water and wastewater
    2. Fish movement
    3. Disease control
    4. Drugs
    5. Feed
  4. Food safety
    1. Miscellaneous
      1. References
        1. Legislation
        2. Related resources
      2. Related links
        Profile
        Basic legislation
        The Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture (Bundesministerium für Verbraucherschutz, Ernährung und Landwirtschaft – BMVEL) is the competent authority on fisheries and aquaculture at the federal level. It drafts policies, guidelines and promotes actions especially at the EU level in this area, for example on the subject matter of the introduction of a environmental label for fishery products. The BMVEL ensures that the production of freshwater and seawater fish strictly respects environmental sustainability and the priority of consumer protection  . The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit – BMU) deals with the following tasks relevant to aquaculture: protection of inland waters and the maritime zones, groundwater protection, wastewater treatment, pollutant in food and landscape planning. Germany is a federal state with a three-tiered system of government: the federation (national level), the Länder (federal states, provinces, or regional level), and municipalities (local level). The fisheries laws are executed by the Länder as in principle, according to the constitution, the federal laws and regulations are executed by the administration of the Länder. In terms of the legislative power at the federal level, the federal state can enact laws on sea and coastal fisheries within the so-called "concurrent legislation"  , whereas the Länder are exclusively responsible for national inland water fisheries. Therefore fishery acts exist both at the federal level, including provisions on sea and coastal fisheries (Seefischereigesetz- SeeFischG  ) and at the Länder level with provisons on inland water fisheries and territorial waters (within 12 sm zone). None of the fisheries laws (Fischereigesetz- FischereiG) of the sixteen Länder include explicitly the term aquaculture. For instance, the Fisheries Law of Brandenburg refers to the rearing or culture of fish and other aquatic organisms in all artificial ponds and other facilities ("Aufzucht und Haltung von Fischen und anderen Wasserorganismen in allen kűnstlich angelegten Fischteichen und sonstigen Anlagen").

        Other relevant subject matters subject to concurrent legislation include protective measures in connection with the marketing of food, feedstuffs (Art. 74 No 20 GG); inland waterways (Art. 74 Nr. 21 GG); the promotion of agricultural production (including fisheries), deep sea and coastal fishing (Art. 74 No 17 GG). In contrast the regional planning and management of water resources (Art. 75 GG) falls under the federal framework legislation.

        The Act on the Regulation of Matters Relating to Water of 1957 (Federal Water Act, Wasserhaushaltsgesetz – WHG), last amended in 2001), as a framework law of the Federal Government, lays down basic provisions relating to water resource management measures (management of water quantity and quality). Therefore it has a key role for aquaculture. This frame law is complemented by the water legislation of the Länder, like for example by the Water Act of Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania  . The Federal Water Act includes provisions on the use of ground and surface water, the handling of substances hazardous to waters, the wastewater disposal as well as the development of waters.

        Since the most important federal acts in the field of water resources management (Federal Water Act and Federal Wastewater Charges Act) are only framework statutes, the water resources regulations in the Federal States (state water acts, state wastewater acts and various statutory orders) also contain important provisions which supplement the federal regulations or define them in greater detail. For example, the Federal States regulate ownership of waters, monitoring of waters, maintenance of waters, licensing procedures for uses of waters, and indirect discharges (i.e. discharges via wastewater treatment plants) into waters.

        The Federation participates in the discharge of responsibilities of the Länder, in the improvement of the agrarian structure and of coastal preservation including fisheries (Law on the Improvement of the Agrarian Structure and the Coastal Protection- Gesetz über die Verbesserung der Agrarstruktur und des Küstenschutzes). It is a joint task, because such responsibilities are important to society as a whole and federal participation is necessary for the improvement of living conditions.

        There is no single authority responsible for aquaculture. Several authorities are concerned with aquaculture matters, such as the authorities in charge of water management, nature protection or construction. The most important authorities with respect to aquaculture are the water authorities. The supreme Water authority (oberste Wasserbehőrde) in Brandenburg, for example, is the (MLUR). It decides about the policy guidelines and supervises the lower water authorities (untere Wasserbehőrde) and the superior water authorities (obere Wasserbehőrde/ Landesumweltamt) in Brandenburg. The lower administrative water authorities are the county administrations. These authorities issue, restrict, withdraw or revoke licences for water use. In general, aquaculture authorisations are granted at discretion of the competent water boards (management discretion). The superior water authority is competent in cases of specialized formal legal water procedures.
        Legal definition
        The federal Fisheries Laws of the Länder do not give any definition of aquaculture. There exists one definition at the EU – level, the EC regulation No. 2792/1999 laying down detailed rules and arrangements regarding Community structural assistance in the fisheries sector. Regulations directly apply in the Member States. According to No 2.2. Annex III of this regulation aquaculture means "the rearing or culture of aquatic organisms using techniques designed to increase the production of the organisms in question beyond the natural capacity of the environment; the organisms remain the property of a natural or legal person throughout the rearing or culture stage, up to and including harvesting."

        A legal definition of "animals from aquaculture" at the federal level exists ("Tiere aus Aquakulturen") in § 2 No. 7 of the Fish Hygiene Ordinance (Fischhygieneverordnung, FischHV). It defines animals from aquaculture as follows: all fishery products born and raised in controlled conditions until placed on the market as a foodstuff. However seawater or freshwater fish or crustaceans caught in their natural environment when juvenile and kept until they reach the desired commercial size for human consumption are also considered to be aquaculture products. (Tiere aus Aquakulturen: sämtliche Fischereierzeugnisse, die in Anlagen erzeugt und bis zum Zeitpunkt ihres Inverkehrbringens als Lebensmittel dort aufgezogen werden, als Tiere aus Aquakulturen gelten ferner Meeres- oder Süßwasserfische oder Krebstiere, die als Jungtiere in ihrer natürlichen Umgebung gefangen und anschließend gehalten werden, bis sie die für den Verzehr erforderliche Größe erreicht haben).

        A definition of fish farming at the federal level exists in § 1 No 2 of the Fish Disease Prevention Ordinance (Fischseuchenverordnung- FischSVO) and § 1(2) No. 4 Animal Disease Act (Tierseuchengesetz- TierSG). This definition refers to constructions or facilities to breed freshwater fish or facilities to keep freshwater fish for commercial purposes (Fischhaltungsbetrieb: Anlage oder Einrichtung zur Zucht von Süßwasserfischen […] oder Einrichtungen zur Haltung oder Hälterung von Süßwasserfischen zum Zwecke der Vermarktung […] ).
        Guidelines and codes of conduct
        Guidelines have been developed for eco fish farming in ponds by the Biokreis association (Biokreis e.V.). Additionally, there are general guidelines for organic farming that have to be observed. These guidelines concern:
        • the keeping of a register with detailed data on the fish
        • the drying up and using of limescale
        • the rearing
        • water quality
        • use of fertilizers (includes a precise list on authorized fertilizers and the quantity that can be used; especially Regulation 2092/91/EC has to be followed)
        • feeding stuff (only certain feedstuff, the natural food of the pond itself is the basis)
        • no GMOs
        • quantity of fish
        • origin of fish (the fish can be only introduced from other eco-farms belonging to the Biokreis farms or AGŐL- member associations, (Arbeitsgemeinschaft ökologischer Landbau)
        • reproduction terms (preferably regional species)
        • transport and slaughtering
        A commission, partly formed by external experts, decides on the certification of farms on the basis of the observance of the guidelines. The certification refers to a whole farm, not to single products. The privately organized institute Lacon GmbH is the main body appointed to monitor the observance of the guidelines by the Biokreis- farms. The notice of recognition of an association certifies that the farm works in compliance with the guidelines. Only after receiving the notice of an association and obtaining an EU certificate, the farm can place its products with the association label on the market. The guidelines are stricter than the Eco- Ordinance implementing the Regulation No. 2092/91/EC of 24 July 1991.
        International arrangements
        Germany is a party to the following international agreements:
        • World Trade Organization (WTO).
        • The European Union (EU).
        • The Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR).
        Germany is also a party to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area (HELCOM), the International Baltic Sea Fishery Convention (IBSFC), the North Atlantic Fishery Organisation (NAFO), the North East Atlantic Fishery Convention (NEAFC) and to the North Atlantic Salmon Convention (NASCO).
        Planning
        Authorization system
        The competence to issue a permit for an aquaculture facility is vested in the Länder.

        Depending on the kind of project, especially for ponds excavation, a building permit might be necessary. A further authorization is required from nature conservation authorities for facilities in protected areas.

        An additional permit for fish farms has to be obtained from the fisheries administration of the Länder. For example, in Brandenburg, the following conditions in order to obtain a fish farm permit (Betriebsgenehmigung) according to the fisheries law of Brandenburg   have to be fulfilled:
        • a threat to natural fish stocks must be excluded
        • the operator of such facilities must show to have a professional fisheries education or a fisheries science education or that he is in the process of obtaining an adequate education
        Furthermore, before starting a fish farm, the regional offices in the Länder in charge according to § 2 (1) of the Fish epidemics- Regulation (Fischseuchen-Verordnung) have to be notified. One of the conditions that is required to be fulfilled to obtain the authorization is the approval of the European Commission, according to Article 6 of the Council Directive 91/67/EC. The BMVEL publishes a list of the approved fish farms, that were authorized by the administrative offices of the Länder in charge of this task, in the Federal Law Gazette.

        The Federal Office for Maritime Navigation and Hydrography (Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie) authorizes aquaculture and fish farm facilities in the exclusive economic zone and in high seas according to the Sea Facilities Ordinance  (Seeanlagenverordnung- SeeAnlV) in order to ensure the prevention of danger to the traffic and the environment of the sea.
        Access to land and water
        The main permit to set up an aquaculture facility is issued by the water authorities. The "use of water" including a set of activities related to water e.g. the emission of substances into surface and coastal waters, the abstraction of surface waters and the impoundment, requires a permit. The issuing authority for water related issues depends on the Federal Water Act, the Water Act of the Länder and the relevant ordinances on responsibilties. For instance, in Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania either the lower water authorities of the Länder (untere Landeswasserbehörde) or the Regional State Offices for Environment and Nature (Staatliche Amt für Umwelt und Natur) issue the permit. In Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania the State offices are responsible for "bodies of water of first category" listed in the annex of the Water Act of Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania and the lower water authorities are responsible for "bodies of water of second category".

        The extraction or discharge of water from surface water into ponds, closed recirculation systems and flow-through systems requires an authorization according to § 3 (1) No. 1 and § 7 of the Federal Water Act.
        The permit according to § 7 of the Federal Water Act refers to the Environmental Impact Assessment Act   (Umweltverträglichkeitsprüfungsgesetz- UVPG). Appendix No. 1 of the Environmental Impact Assessment Act refers to the Environmental Impact Assessment Acts of the Länder, that can decide for which size of fish farms an EIA is necessary. The authority issues the permit with a detailed list of legal restraints.

        An authorization or permit according to §§ 7 and 8 of the Federal Water Act is also necessary for input of water into a flow-through system.

        The matter of fisheries lease contracts is regulated by the Länder. According to the Fisheries law of Brandenburg  the lessee needs the approval of the fisheries authority for every conclusion of a lease contract or change of lease contract. For example, in Brandenburg the lease contract is approved if the authority has not given any notice within one month after filing the contract. The lease contract requires the written form. The lease contract has a minimum duration of twelve years. A lease of coastal fisheries rights is not permitted.

        The environmental Minister assigns the river basin districts or economic areas for which water provision framework plans have to be adopted. The water provision framework plans are adopted by the land environment agency with the participation of the responsible authorities (§ 24 Water Law of Brandenburg and § 36 of the Federal Water Act). Fish farming is part of integrated coastal zone management (integriertes Küstenzonenmanagement- IKZM).

        The zoning plan, under the Building Law   (Baugesetzbuch- BauGB), specifies the water areas, water management areas, agricultural land and the areas which have to be kept free for coastal zone protection.

        On the basis of § 19 of the Federal Water Act water protection areas can be determined. For example in Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania, the Ministry of Environment adopted a panoply of ordinances on the water protection areas like the ordinance on water protection area Reinberg-Dömitzow  (Wasserschutzgebietsverordnung Reinberg-Dömitzow- WSGVO Reinberg-Dömitzow) which enlist the prohibitions and restrictions, e.g. restriction of land use such as the restriction on setting up fish ponds.

        The Fish disease prevention Ordinance sets out the conditions under which areas are approved for fish farming. According to § 28 of the Water Law of Brandenburg, the permit of the water authorities to set up a fish farm should be restricted to 15 years on average.
        EIA
        In Germany, EIA is not an independent administrative procedure but an integrated part of a licensing procedure (§2, 1 of the Act on Environmental Impact Assessment   (Umweltverträglichkeitsprüfungsgesetz- UVPG)). The EIA provides for the description and assessment of the environmental effects of a project. In particular, the effects of a project on human beings, animals, plants, soil, water, air, landscape, including the relevant interactions, shall be determined. In addition, EIA must assess the effects on these assets in their completeness.

        The Environmental Impact Assessment Law is applicable to intensive fish farming according to § 3 (1) UVPG, because fish farms are listed in appendix No. 1 of the UVPG. For the introduction of feedstuffs, veterinary drugs or devices (e.g. cages) into waters a procedure according to § 7 of the Federal Water Act has to be followed, except for minor facilities for which a permit according to the law of the Länder is not required. These provisions of the Federal Water Act refer to the EIA Law. As far as "intensive fish farming" is linked to the abstraction of ground water or surface water, or the discharge of wastewater from the fish farm facilities into surface water, an EIA is required as part of the permit and authorization procedure.

        The construction of a facility for intensive fish farming belongs to the projects enlisted in Annex I of the Act on Environmental Impact Assessment and which require an assessment according to the EIA laws of the Länder. The specific conditions under which an EIA is required can differ from Land to Land.

        For example, Brandenburg  distinguishes between three categories of intensive fish farming, according to their fish harvest per annum. An EIA is required for facilities having:
        • more than 1 000 tonnes of fish harvest per annum
        • between 100 and 1 000 tonnes of fish harvest per annum, if after a general case-by-case examination the projects may have significant adverse effects on the environment; the EIA Act lists the different criteria that should be used when considering whether a facility is likely to have such an impact
        • between 50 and 100 tonnes of fish harvest per annum, if in the light of each individual case, in regard to the location criterion the project despite its small size or productivity may have significant adverse effects on the environment. The environmental sensitivity of geographical areas likely to be affected by projects must be considered, with regards to certain criteria e.g. the existing land use, the relative abundance, quality and regenerative capacity of natural resources in the area
        For specific projects in natural or artificial waters, a legal procedure according to § 31 of the Federal Water Act, has to be followed. A plan fixation procedure is required when establishing, removing or substantially reshaping bodies of water or shores. For example, an establishment of water can be the establishment of fish ponds depending on size, location etc. An EIA is part of the plan fixation procedure. The procedure for this integrated EIA is described in detail in §§ 3 seq. of the Act on Environmental Impact Assessment. It is divided in a screening-process and a following decision-making phase:
        1. screening-process: - scoping process - forwarding of the documents (environmental impact statement) by the proponent - participation of the authorities and the public
        2. decision-making phase: - preparation of a summarizing description of the environmental effects of the project on the environment - evaluation of the environmental effects - decision on the licence for the project
        The applicant for a licence may, before filing the formal application, inform the competent authority of the planned project. If he does so, the authority shall discuss with the applicant and other selected agencies and third parties (including environmental associations) the subject, scope and methods of the required EIA (scoping).

        When the licence application along with the EIA documents have been submitted, they must be laid out for public inspection and discussed in a hearing with those who have filed objections. The responsible agency must then draw up a summarizing presentation of the environmental effects. Data must be given concerning the actual status of the environment without the planned project, the change which the environment would experience under normal operation of the project and in the event of accidents, as well as the environmental changes which would result from project alternatives considered by the applicant. The results of the evaluation must then be taken into consideration in the licensing decision according to the Federal Water Act (§ 12). After a balancing of environmental effects against other (e.g. economic) benefits, some negative environmental effects may be accepted. If environmental effects are not balanced by other benefits, the negative evaluation leads to the refusal of the licence. At the end of the procedure, the competent authority makes the decision available to the developer, the affected public and all those, who have raised objections against the project, and explains the reasons for its decision.
        Operation
        Water and wastewater
        According to the Federal Water Act in most cases the use of water has to be licensed by state authorities. Especially uses which might contaminate the waters with substances constituting a hazard to water. The direct discharge of wastewater is regulated by the Federal Water Act. Authorisation is, in principle, granted at the discretion of the responsible water boards (management discretion). In certain cases, that discretionary power is restricted in the interests of water protection. According to § 7 a of the Federal Water Act a permit for wastewater discharge may not be granted unless such discharge satisfies certain minimum requirements – best available technology – which are to be met everywhere in Germany irrespective of the quality of the waters (uniform emission standards differentiated according to sectors of industry). The minimum requirements are specified in more detail in the Federal Wastewater Ordinance  (Abwasserverordnung- AbwV) adopted by the federal government. More stringent requirements, and even bans on discharges, can in individual cases be imposed by water authorities in the light of immission considerations in order to safeguard the water quality envisaged for specific water uses. The Länder are responsible for the indirect discharge of wastewater to a public sewer system (§ 7 a (4) of the Federal Water Act).

        The Wastewater Ordinance and the Frame Wastewater Administrative Instruction (Abwasser- Verwaltungsvorschriften- AbwVwV) are conceived to regulate the direct discharge to water bodies as well as general requirements and regulations on analysis and measurement procedures it contains special pollutant related requirements for waste water, which have to be determined in the permit granted for the discharge of wastewater.

        Further ordinances relevant to aquaculture and fish farming facilities can be found at the level of the Länder. For example, in Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania the shellfish waters ordinance   (Muschelgewässerverordnung- MuGVO) and the fish freshwaters ordinance   (Fischgewässerverordnung- FGVO). These ordinances implement the Directive 78/659/EC on the quality of freshwaters needing protection or improvement in order to support fish life, and the directive 79/923/EC on the quality required of shellfish waters.

        Anyone who pollutes water without authorization is liable to punishment under the Criminal Code.

        The Länder have introduced a fee on the discharge of wastewater, the revenue of which is used to finance public wastewater disposal. The Wastewater Charges Act (Abwasserabgabengesetz- AbwAG) stipulates that a fee must be paid when wastewater is discharged directly into a body of water. This first eco-tax, levied at the federal level as a steering instrument, is determined on the basis of the quantity and harmfulness of specific constituents discharged into the water. Thus, the discharge of wastewater from technical facilities and devices into a body of water is subject to charges, from which the discharge of wastewater from fishponds is exempt.
        Fish movement
        According to the Act relative to diseases and pests affecting animals (1999), the Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries can issue regulations on the export and import of animals, including fish, from which disease and zoonotic transmissible infectious agents can be spread. Pursuant to the Act, the Ordinance on the import and transit of animals and related goods within the European Union  (Binnenmarkt- Tierseuchenschutzverordnung- BmTierSSchV) has been adopted. It regulates the export, import and transit of fish and molluscs.

        A notification to the responsible authority is necessary for the transport and import of fish, their eggs and gametes between EU Member states. A notification is not necessary if the fish farm requires an approval according to the Fish Disease Prevention Ordinance or the fish farm is registered in another EU Member State. For the intra-Community transport, fish species, susceptible to IHN and VHS, and molluscs, from an approved zone or approved farm, have to be accompanied by an official transfer document in order to be introduced into an approved zone or approved fish farm. Additionally an official health certificate from a veterinarian is required.

        The transport of fish and molluscs within the EU requires an official transfer document and a health certificate. Fish that must be destroyed according to a quarantine measure plan or coming from a fish farm temporarily "out of bounds" for quarantine reasons cannot be imported from other EU Member States.

        The vehicles for transport of live fish within the EU have to be earmarked with the name or the veterinarian control number of the farm of origin. The addressee of the fish has to notify the relevant authority of the arrival at least one working day in advance. For the import of live fish no authorization is required.

        The import of live fish from non EU countries requires a certificate that indicates the intended use according to a decision of the EU. The country of origin must be enlisted in the decision of the EU and published in the Federal Law Gazette of Germany. Live fish (not the eggs and gametes) not meeting the requirements for import require an authorization for transit. For the import from or export to EEC countries a different set of rules apply.

        If the relevant authority ascertains danger of spread of diseases from animals, it orders the killing and destruction or quarantine in a quarantine station. Alternative treatment is only allowed in case of exclusion of spread of diseases. If the requirements for animal disease prevention are not met for other reasons than mentioned above the fish can be returned to the dispatcher by the responsible authority.

        Pursuant to the Animal Diseases Act (Tierseuchengesetz- TierSG), the Fish Disease Prevention Ordinance has been adopted. The Ordinance implements Council Directive 91/67/EC of 28 January 1991 concerning the transport and introduction of freshwater fish. A system of approved zones and farms for freshwater fish is established.

        When live freshwater fish is introduced into an approved zone or approved farm in a non approved zone, it must be accompanied by a document according to the example of Annex E, Chapter 1 or 2 of the directive 91/67/EC. The documents must be kept for a period of four years. A veterinarian or an official veterinary examination may be ordered. When live farmed freshwater fish from a fish farm are to be introduced into an approved zone or approved fish farm, the fish farm must rear fish species not endangered by infectious anemia of salmon (ISA), infectious haematopoietic necrosis (IHN) and viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS); they must be accompanied by a movement document. When freshwater fish for consumption from a non approved area or farm are introduced to an approved area or approved farm, the fish must be gutted before.

        If water is used for transport, the vehicles shall be designed in such a way that water cannot escape from the vehicle during transport. Transport shall be carried out in such a way as to safeguard effectively the health of the animals, in particular by changing the water. The freshwater fish must be dispatched in the shortest possible period to the destination, using means of transport that have been cleaned and disinfected in advance.

        The requirements for the transport of live fish are also described with slight differences in the Fisheries Ordinances   of the Länder. For example in Brandenburg, fish must be dispatched in the shortest possible period to the place of destination using means of transport that do not cause avoidable damage. The water must be free from the following transmissible infectious agents: ISA, IHN and VHS.

        The Fish Hygiene Ordinance establishes conditions for the imports of fishery products and live shellfish from third countries, which include a health certificate, the placing of an identification mark and the drawing up of a list of approved establishments  . A precise description of the product examinations and laboratory tests to be undertaken on import of fishery products and live shellfish is enlisted.

        Pursuant to the Animal Protection Act, the Animal Protection Transport Ordinance  (Tierschutztransportverordnung- TierSchTrV) has been adopted. It covers the protection of animals during transport. The conditions of fish transport have to be adapted to the necessities of the fish species according to the Animal Protection Transport Ordinance. The ordinance contains a special section on the transport of fish. It considers the sufficient oxygen supply, the water quality and temperature and the incompatibility of certain fish species. The import of fish requires a set of documents (a transportation declaration and a declaration of the carrier to observe the provisions of the ordinance) and the inspection of the fish by the competent authority at the border control. The addressee of animals has to notify the relevant authority of the final destination, the kind of species, the number of animals and the expected arrival time at least one day before arrival. The importer has to give the same information to the border check point.

        The Genetic Modification Act   (Gentechnikgesetz- GenTG) applies to the placing on the market, production and use of genetically modified organisms. According to the Act, genetically modified organisms cannot be placed on the market without the authorization of the Robert-Koch-Institute. The authorization in accordance with the same procedures postulated by this law from member states of the EEA (agreement creating the European Economic Area) is equal to the approval of the Robert-Koch-Institute. The Amendment to the Genetic Modification Act implements Directive 2001/18/EC.

        Pursuant to the Fisheries Acts of the Länder, ordinances on the prohibition of modifications of genetic material of fish and on the prohibition or restriction of the introduction of non-domestic fish species hazardous to domestic fish stocks can be adopted by the Ministries of the Länder. For example, the Fishery Ordinance of Brandenburg states that reproductive and genetically modified fish can be only reared in aquaculture facilities that prevent the possibility of escape. The existence or the setting up of such an aquaculture facility has to be communicated to the Agency for Consumer Protection and Agriculture of Brandenburg.
        Disease control
        According to the Animal Disease Act, the Minister of Food, Agriculture and Forestry can issue regulations to prevent the spread of freshwater fish diseases. The Act stipulates that anybody keeping infected fish or fish suspected of infection must communicate the fact as quickly as possible to the responsible authorities of the Länder or a veterinarian. A veterinarian must be called in to render an expert opinion on the identification or suspicion of a disease outbreak, and on the required measures to be taken. Subsequently the authority must take measures according to the Act or the ordinances adopted under the Act.

        For the purpose of eradicating, preventing and limiting disease, as well as countering the risk of spread of zoonotic transmissible infectious agents and other listed diseases, the Minister can issue regulations and order the carrying out of special measures. For freshwater fish, this includes the examination, supervision, marking, treatment, vaccination, disinfection of bodies of water and facilities, registration of the facilities to breed and rear freshwater fish, isolation, killing, destruction as well as imposing special conditions for the delivery of animals.

        The Fish Disease Prevention Ordinance contains provisions on prevention from freshwater fish diseases. The Fish Disease Prevention Ordinance establishes that fish farms with fish susceptible to ISA, IHN or VHS must keep a register. Fish farmers must have all fish examined yearly by a veterinary. Regular disinfection has to take place. Furthermore the ordinance deals with measures in case of outbreak of fish disease. The measures to be taken in case of outbreak or suspicion of fish disease are different for an authorized and unauthorized area or fish farm. Once a disease is detected, all fish are to be destroyed under official supervision. Facilities and equipment must be disinfected in accordance with a procedure approved by an official veterinarian. The supreme Land authority notifies the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry about the approval, the suspension of the approval or the withdrawal of an approval for an area or fish farm.

        The responsibilities of authorities are decided by the Länder because of Germany's federal structure. For example, the competent authority in Brandenburg for all issues related to fish diseases, the identification, the prevention and treatment of fish diseases is the Agency for Consumer Protection and Agriculture.
        Drugs
        The Animal Disease Act stipulates that serums, vaccinations and antigens for the prevention, identification and treatment of animal diseases can only be applied, if they are approved by the Federal Research Institute for Animal Virus Diseases or the Paul-Ehrlich-Institute. According to the Animal Disease Act, the Minister can issue regulations on the approval of veterinary vaccinations, drugs etc. In specific cases, exceptions from the approval according to the Animal Disease Act can be adopted by the supreme authorities of the Länder. Pursuant to the Animal Disease Act, the Ministry can issue ordinances on the dispensing and administration of serums, vaccinations and antigens.

        The Fish Hygiene Ordinance regulates the use of disinfecting agents. Only appropriate agents can be used. The agents to be considered as appropriate are enlisted.

        The Drug Act  (Arzneimittelgesetz) qualifies products as drugs as long as a product is authorized or registered as a drug pursuant to the Act or it is exempt from the authorization or registration by ordinance. The Drug Act regulates the use of drugs intended for administration to animals. The manufacture of medicated feeding stuffs, only premix drugs, authorized for marketing pursuant to the Act may be used. Either a marketing authorization is required or the drug is exempt by the Federal Ministry from obtaining such an authorization. If medicated feeding stuffs are manufactured, the mixed feed for this purpose shall have to comply with the provisions of the Feedingstuffs Act   and it may not contain any antibiotic or coocidiostic agent as a feedingstuff additive which is contained in the premix drug. Only mixed feedstuffs complying with an ordinance issued under the Feedingstuffs Act (Futtermittelgesetz- FMG) may be used for medicated feeding stuffs. The Act includes provisions on the prescription, dispensing and administration of drugs by veterinarians.
        Pursuant to the Drugs Act, the Ordinance on the Use of Drugs for Animals  requires persons who are not veterinarians and who use drugs, which are not released for trade outside of pharmacies, to keep records on the acquisition, the whereabouts of the drugs and etc.

        The federal authority in charge of the registration and authorization for veterinary drugs is the Federal Agency for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit- BVEL). Furthermore, if any undesired effect occurs, veterinarians and pharmaceutical companies have the duty to inform the BVEL about it.

        The Use of Fertilisers Ordinance was enacted on the basis of the Fertilisers Act (Düngemittel- Gesetz). This is intended to bring about protection of water against (diffuse) pollution, especially nitrate, from agricultural sources. The Use of Fertilisers Ordinance also serves to implement the EC Nitrate Directive. According to the Fertilisers Act, fertilisers may only be used in accordance with good professional practice.

        The Administrative Regulation on the Classification of Substances Hazardous to Waters into Water Hazard Classes  (Verwaltungsvorschrift wassergefährdende Stoffe- VwVwS) is an important criterion to classify chemicals (substances and substance-groups) according to their potential hazard to the environment and human health. The VwVwS encloses annexes with a list of substances non-hazardous (nicht wassergefährdend – nwg) to water, a list of substances hazardous to waters, classified into Water Hazard Classes (Wassergefährdungsklasse) 1 to 3, and a description of the classification procedure on the basis of R-phrase classifications according to European Hazardous Substances Regulations for all substances that are not listed in Annex 1 or 2, and a description of the procedure in order to classify preparations and mixtures.
        Feed
        The Feedingstuffs Act  is the basic Act regulating the production of feedingstuffs, in particular to ensure that no risk arises for the health of the human being. It ensures that the health of animals is not at risk, the protection from fraudulant practices in the marketing of feedingstuffs, and finally the implementation of EC directives.

        The monitoring of feedstuffs is extensively harmonized by EU law. Besides the Feedingstuffs Act, the Feedingstuffs Ordinance  (Futtermittelverordnung) and further laws and ordinances were implemented.

        Regulation (EC) No 1831/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2003 on additives for use in animal nutrition is the basic law for the registration, production, placing on the market and use of additives in animal nutrition. No person can place on the market, process or use a feed additive unless it is covered by an authorisation granted in accordance with this Regulation.

        The Feedingstuffs Prohibition Act  (Verfütterungsverbotsgesetz) deals with the prohibition of the use, trade and export of animal feed. For example, it prohibits the use of fish fat and protein-containing products. The use as fish feed is excluded from this general prohibition.

        The responsibility for the control of the observation of the restrictions and prohibitions on feedstuffs and all matters regarding the Feeding Stuff Act is vested to the authorities of the Länder. For example, in Bavaria the District Governments coordinate and supervise; the County Council Agencies and towns not belonging to a county monitor feedstuff and the Agency for Health and Food Security examines, analyzes as well as sampling, furnishes expert opinions.

        The BMVEL decides, in accordance with the Federal Ministry of Finance (Bundesministerium der Finanzen- BMdF) on the use of certain frontier crossing points for the import of feedingstuffs, additives and premixtures for animal feed not complying with the law. The list of frontier crossing points is announced publicly.
        Food safety
        The basic legislation on food is the Foodstuff Act   (Lebensmittel- und Bedarfsgegenständegesetz). It lays down general rules on foodstuff such as the prohibition of producing and placing on the market foodstuff that can cause health damages. The Act provides that the federal Ministry can issue ordinances on control measures that can be carried out in order to ensure compliance with the Act. The Ministry can prohibit or restrict the production and treatment of food, determine safety arrangements or warning notices for certain materials, decide the application of a prior approval or its conditions. The Act prohibits the use of non authorized additives. Food that does not comply with the limits upon levels of fertilizer residues, according to the Fertilizer Act, cannot be placed on the market.

        Pursuant to the Act, the Fish Hygiene Ordinance has been adopted. It sets out rules on hygienic requirements for fishery products and live shellfish. Products coming from factory-vessels and establishments, auction and wholesale markets must meet the hygiene standards set by this Ordinance. The responsible authorities can only approve establishments to produce and store fish and fish products when they have verified that these establishments meet the requirements of the ordinance. The provisions refer to inter alia location, premises, water supply, installation, storing, operation, cleaning and disinfection measures.

        The official examination of consignments of fishery products and live shellfish with regard to certain substances is described. Animals and fishery products from aquaculture have to be examined with regard to certain residues. The requirements of a national residue plan, on the basis of Council Directive 96/23/EC of 29 April 1996 on measures to monitor certain substances and residues thereof in live animals and animal products, have to be met. The sampling and the treatment of the samples must comply with a decision of the European Commission according to Article 15 of directive 96/23/EC.

        Gutting must be carried out as quickly as possible after aquaculture animals have been slaughtered. The person slaughtering or treating aquaculture animals has to undertake in-house-controls to ensure that no prohibited or unauthorized substances were administered to aquaculture animals, that aquaculture products do not contain any residues of prohibited or unauthorized substances,etc.

        The Ordinance on the labelling of fish  (Fischetikettierungs- Verordnung), adopted under the Fish Labelling Act  (Fischetikettierungsgesetz) contains provisions on trade names, details on the indication of the production and the exceptions from the labelling obligation.

        The responsibilities for foodstuffs are vested in the Länder. For example, in Bavaria they are vested in the same authorities as the coordination of feeding stuffs (see above).
        Miscellaneous
        The goal of the BMVEL is to introduce an environmental label for fishery products. This ecolabel is to provide certainty for consumers that the purchased product was caught or produced under the conditions of environmentally sustainable fisheries or aquaculture. In addition to the criteria for an ecolabel, the development of criteria for a conventional label for aquaculture products is also planned. In coordination with the Länder responsible for inland fisheries it is therefore necessary to more closely define "good professional practice" in aquaculture and inland fisheries  .

        Pursuant to Regulation No.2792/1999/EC laying down the detailed rules and arrangements regarding Community structural assistance in the fisheries, the Länder of Germany have adopted directives for the promotion of measures to improve aquaculture, such as the Saxon Directive No 59/2001 of 6 December 2001. The promotion of investments concerns inter alia the use of techniques that substantially reduce environmental impact and works concerning the installation or improvement of water circulation in aquaculture enterprise.

        Fish welfare is covered by the Animal Welfare Act(Tierschutzgesetz), the Animal Protection Transport Ordinance  (Tierschutztransportverordnung) and the Animal Welfare Slaughtering Ordinance (Tierschutz- Schlachtverordnung).
        References
        Legislation
        Animal Disease Act, February 2001 (Tierseuchengesetz- TierSG)
        Fish Disease Prevention Ordinance, December 1994 (Fischseuchen-Verordnung- FischSV)
        Foodstuff Act, September 1997 (Gesetz über den Verkehr mit Lebensmitteln, Tabakerzeugnissen, kosmetischen Mitteln und sonstigen Bedarfsgegenständen- LMBG)
        The Environmental Impact Assessment Law, September 2001 (Umweltvertraeglichkeitspruefungsgesetz- UVPG)
        The Environmental Impact Assessment Law of Brandenburg, July 2002 (Umweltvertraeglichkeitspruefungsgesetz Brandenburg, BbgUVPG)
        Water Act of Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania, November 1992 (Wassergesetz des Landes Mecklenburg-Vorpommern- LWaG)
        Ordinance on the waterprotection area Reinberg-Dömitzow of Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania, July 2001 (Wasserschutzgebietsverordnung Reinberg-Dömitzow - WSGVO Reinberg-Dömitzow)
        Fish Labelling Ordinance, August 2002 (Fischetikettierubgsverordnung- FischEtkettV)
        Amendment to the Genetic Modification Act, December 2004 (Gesetz zur Neuordnung der Gentechnik)
        Ordinance on Drugs for Animals, January 1978, last amended August 2001 (Verordnung über Nachweispflichten für Arzneimittel, die zur Anwendung bei Tieren bestimmt sind)
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        Related links
        Country profiles: Germany
         
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