The EU Member States have accepted the EU authorities’ proposal – inspired from the one made jointly by OFI and EPO - to distinguish the Labridae family species by solely listing the five North Atlantic Labridae species (i.e., Centrolabrus exoletus, Centrolabrus rupestris, Labrus mixtus, Labrus bergylta and Symphodus melops) that are carriers of Viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS) and by removing the listing of the other Labridae species.
The decision has just been released in the EU Official Journal with the updated list of aquatic diseases and group of species; enabling the imports of tropical species of Wrasse to be resumed from July 5th, 2022.
Thanks to the efforts made jointly by OFI and EPO, the Labridae family species has been taken out of this updated list which includes the latest findings on OIE activities for aquatic species.
When the ban for wrasse imports was implemented in early February 2022, OFI made several submissions to the EU authorities on behalf of our industry to have this overturned. This included our proposal to place restrictions on only known carriers of VHS within the Labridae family and to allow the trade of tropical species not associated with VHS. OFI has supported its submission through scientific evidence that VHS is a viral disease affecting Salmonid species, which represents a major concern to the aquaculture industry in Europe where five of the abovementioned North Atlantic wrasse species are used as parasite control agents in salmon farms