Seafood industry helped to navigate food legislation –

Seafood industry helped to navigate food legislation Published:  26 September, 2007

LEGISLATION affecting the seafood industry is becoming increasingly complex, so Seafish is providing a tailored advice and guidance service to ensure businesses avoid making costly mistakes.

Seafish now has a dedicated four-strong legislation team that provides up-to-date information on proposed changes to legislation that may affect the seafood industry.

Food Standards Officer, Fiona Wright, says it is not surprising that seafood businesses are frequently confused by the vast raft of regulations, given that it is an area that often requires specialised knowledge.

“One recent area of focus has been on strict, new regulations regarding nutrition and health claims made in all forms of advertising and labelling,” says Fiona.

“The regulations, which came into force in July this year, mean that suppliers have to ensure that claims made in labelling and advertising are valid – and can be proven to be so.

“This includes claims that a product is healthy and good for you, an example of this could be the statement that a product is ‘source of omega 3’. However, if the product already carries such information, then there is a period of grace until 2010 for the claim to be approved.”

The Seafish legislation team has considerable experience negotiating with local authorities over new hygiene laws for food businesses. Authorities can sometimes try to implement regulations to the letter of the law, without being aware that the unique nature of the seafood industry means that there can be room for flexibility in implementation.

The team can also provide useful advice to help businesses comply with the correct documentation procedures for exporting and importing.

The team monitors and, where possible, influences emerging legislation to minimise unwanted burdens on the seafood industry. It maintains strong links with industry representatives from the catching, processing and retail sectors as well as the government departments responsible for drafting legislation.

If you have a query specific to your business, the team operates a free legal advice service for all sectors of the seafood industry.

For more general information, the team has produced specific guides to legislation, such as food labelling and traceability guidance, with further guides available online early next year. Other legal matters, such as consultations, notices and alerts are regularly updated on the business to business section of the Seafish website,

The team can be contacted on 01482 327837 or and a leaflet, explaining the team’s services, is also available. is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.