Food Loss and Waste in Fish Value Chains
©FAO/Ansen Ward
  • Supportive Policy Environment
  • Application of Appropriate Technology
  • Skills and Knowledge
  • Services and Infrastructure
  • Regulatory Environment
  • Social and Gender Equity
  • Markets

Regulatory Environment for Landing Sites in Small-Scale Fisheries

The Codex Alimentarius Code of Practice for Fish and Fishery Products is a reference point for good landing site practices that can become legal requirements. The Code highlights that landing sites should be designed and constructed according to the following:

  • Facility layout should be designed to minimize cross-contamination and may be accomplished by physical or time separation.
  • All surfaces in handling areas should be non-toxic, smooth, impervious and in sound condition in order to minimize the build-up of fish slime, blood, scales and guts and to reduce the risk of physical contamination.
  • Working surfaces that come into direct contact with fish, shellfish and their products should be in sound condition, durable and easy to maintain. They should be made of smooth, non-absorbent and non-toxic materials, and inert to fish, shellfish and their products, detergents and disinfectants under normal operating conditions.
  • Adequate facilities should be provided for the handling and washing of products and should have an adequate supply of cold potable water for that purpose.
  • Suitable and adequate facilities should be provided for storage and/or production of ice.
  • Ceiling lights should be covered or otherwise suitably protected to prevent contamination by glass or other materials.
  • Ventilation should be sufficient to remove excess steam, smoke and objectionable odours, and cross-contamination through aerosols should be avoided.
  • Adequate facilities should be provided for washing and disinfecting equipment, where appropriate.
  • Non-potable water lines should be clearly identified and separated from potable water to avoid contamination.
  • All plumbing and waste lines should be capable of coping with peak demands.
  • Accumulation of solid, semi-solid or liquid wastes should be minimized to prevent contamination.
  • Where appropriate, containers for offal and waste material should be clearly identified, suitably constructed with a fitted lid and made of impervious material.
  • Separate and adequate facilities should be provided in order to prevent contamination by:
    • poisonous or harmful substances
    • dry storage of materials, packaging, etc
    • offal and waste materials.
  • Adequate hand washing and toilet facilities, isolated from handling area, should be available.
  • Prevent the entry of birds, insects or other pests and animals.
  • Water supply lines should be fitted with back-flow devices, where appropriate.

Guidance on handling and equipment are also included in the Code.

Legislation for Landing and the Sale of Fish

Legislation for Landing and the Sale of Fish

Legislation governing and specific to the activities of landing and sale of fish may be broadly classified as that relating to regulation of food safety, fish marketing, fisheries control, trading, health and safety and environmental protection. Within the context of the Codex, the most significant legislation is that relating to food safety, fish marketing and trading. Most legislation relating to the landing and sale of fishery products is essentially common to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and is based on EU legislation.

UK Food Safety Legislation

UK Food Safety Legislation

In the UK, under Food Safety legislation, proprietors of all food businesses must ensure that the handling, preparation, storage, transportation and the sale of fishery products is carried out in a hygienic way. They are responsible for ensuring adequate standards of practices, structures, equipment, hygiene, cleaning and pest control. They are also responsible for ensuring that the staff who handle fish are medically fit to do so, are suitably supervised, and are instructed and/or trained in food hygiene. All businesses that involve the handling or sale of fish, or the cleaning of plant and equipment that may come into contact with fish, are classified as food businesses. Port or Market Authorities are legally required to register or license, as appropriate, an auction or wholesale market with the Local Authority. Primary responsibility for food safety on a fish market lies with the Port or Market Authority.

The Sydney Fish Market

The Sydney Fish Market

Although a wholesale market, the rules of the Sydney Fish Market provide a useful guide for rules at landing sites and first point of sale markets. The rules are designed to ensure the good order and conduct of the Market and in particular to:

  • Ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable the health, safety and well-being of all people in the Market
  • Ensure compliance with all relevant laws, especially those relating to health, safety and environmental protection
  • To eliminate, or minimize so far as is reasonably practicable, the risks to the health and safety of workers and to other persons who attend the Market
  • Make the Market attractive to customers and ensure it remains competitive in the wider market place
  • Foster the continued growth and prosperity of the Market

A well-managed landing site with a robust set of rules properly applied will have high standards conducive to good quality and reduced food loss and waste (FLW).

Key Publications

Code of Practice for Fish and Fishery Products

Codes of practice and guidelines designed to help meet standards and comply with legislation (e.g the Codex Alimentarius Code of Practice for Fish and Fishery Products).                                            

Guidelines for the Landing and Sale of Fishery Products

Provides information on the level of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) allowed in smoked fish entering the EU market.                                                                                                                                                             

 


More Resources

More Resources

This document includes nine studies showcasing applied practices and successful initiatives in support of enhancing small-scale fisheries value chains, post-harvest operations and trade, based on the recommendations contained in the SSF Guidelines.
This website provides information on how to support the achievement of the SDG.3 target on food waste and maximise the contribution of all actors.
This publication highlights key gender inequalities in fisheries and aquaculture value chains that lead to underperformance by women, and proposes good practice policies that can influence increases in production and processing of high-quality fish....