1. Aims and activities ?xml:namespace>
The aim of WEFTA (founded in 1970) is to be an important platform in Europe for institutions engaged in fish processing, applied food science, aquaculture, seafood technology, health effects of seafood consumption and consumer studies. WEFTA aims at improving safety and quality of seafood on and from the European and other markets through research within this area. Research activities of the WEFTA institutes are coordinated to the benefit of research institutes, the fishery industry, consumers, stakeholders and governments. WEFTA brings scientists – especially young scientists - together from the various research institutes and encourage them to present their results.
WEFTA holds an annual plenary meeting where research results from both member and non-member institutions are presented. In conjunction with this meeting the Permanent national representatives’ institutions hold a managing meeting – The WEFTA Representatives meeting.
WEFTA also has activities in working groups of which some are permanent and others are on an ad hoc basis.
WEFTA has its homepage at the Internet at the address www.wefta.org. The homepage contains essential information about WEFTA, its history, updated information of WEFTA member institutions, Permanent national representative institutions and contact persons, and programmes for meetings. Other news of interest is also presented. ?xml:namespace>
2. Plenary meetings ?xml:namespace>
The WEFTA plenary meeting is held annually. The venue rotates among the countries being members of WEFTA. The institution organizing the next plenary WEFTA-meeting has a secretarial function that year.
Two categories of participants can be present at meetings: ?xml:namespace>
1) The member institutions delegations of WEFTA and ?xml:namespace>
2) Other institutes and/or industries being active within areas that fit with the Aims and activities of WEFTA
Seafood industry should be encouraged to participate in meetings. At the plenary meetings research results are presented and discussed. Presentations should be encouraged predominantly from young researchers. In addition to full and short oral presentations, posters may be presented. Sessions may contain specific topics, but at least one session should be open for miscellaneous presentations. Preliminary results as well as final results may be presented. ?xml:namespace>
When organizing the WEFTA-meeting, a meeting web page must be constructed. This web page should then remain "alive” one year after the meeting has been held. ?xml:namespace>
Abstracts and papers for distribution at the meeting are being prepared according to written instructions by the organisers. The organisers arrange for the distribution of copies/booklets/USB´s/CD´s etc. to the participants. ?xml:namespace>
In order to organise a plenary meeting the host may set deadlines for the participants regarding titles and brief abstracts of presentations to be given. After organising the presentations in sessions for the plenary meeting, the organiser appoints chairpersons and potentially co-chairpersons well in advance of the meeting, and instructs the chairpersons about their duties. Guidelines for chairpersons have been prepared. Chairpersons should preferably be selected among young participants, taking into consideration a balanced representation of member countries and gender aspects. ?xml:namespace>
Proceedings from the meetings can be published if the host wants to do it, and may be prepared as a printed book, a special issue of a scientific journal, or presented in an electronic format on the homepage of WEFTA on the Internet. Proceedings should be peer reviewed. It is highly recommended to give the Abstract/Proceedings book an ISBN-number. ?xml:namespace>
The host country may arrange excursions and visits in connection with plenary meetings. ?xml:namespace>
The host country may take a fee to cover additional costs related to the meeting, excluding overhead charge and staff salaries.
There are guidelines for preparing a WEFTA annual meeting; these should be updated by the host after each finalized WEFTA-meeting. Name and date should be set on the last version. ?xml:namespace>
3. Representatives meeting ?xml:namespace>
WEFTA Representatives meetings are open to Permanent national representative institutions. Participants in Representatives meetings are e.g. the heads of units, department leaders, research group leaders, directors, etc. from each Permanent national representative member institution and chairpersons of the WEFTA working groups. Representatives from FAO and the European Commission may be invited by the host institute. When relevant, representatives from the Trans Atlantic Fish Technology (TAFT) collaboration may also participate.
The Representatives meeting is held once a year in conjunction with the annual WEFTA plenary meeting and manages WEFTA.
The representative of the institution hosting the plenary meeting chairs the Representatives meeting. The agenda for the meeting and invitations to participate are prepared by the host organisation and communicated to the representatives of all permanent national representative institutions at least 2 weeks prior to the plenary meeting. ?xml:namespace>
The agenda should also be published on the WEFTA homepage to inform WEFTA member institutions and allow them to contact and consult their permanent national representative. At the Representatives meeting the venue is decided for the following 3 WEFTA meetings. Further, any topics for the next meeting’s sessions are suggested.
At the Representatives meeting applications for membership are discussed and decisions made as to which institutions are to be adopted as new members.
Decisions taken at the Representatives meeting are made by the principle of consensus.
At the closing of a Representatives meeting the secretariat function of WEFTA is handed over to the institution hosting the Plenary Meeting the following year. This institution has the official WEFTA address for that period, which should be announced at the WEFTA homepage. A plenary meeting manual containing essential considerations for preparing a meeting is provided and amended as experience with arranging WEFTA meetings is gained. ?xml:namespace>
The host is responsible for preparing the minutes from the Representatives meeting and sends this to all WEFTA member institutions as soon as possible after the plenary meeting. Once approved, the minutes should also be sent to the web master for publication on the WEFTA home page. A brief oral presentation of decisions made at the Representatives meeting are given by the host institution towards the end of each plenary meeting. ?xml:namespace>
4. WEFTA website and facebook ?xml:namespace>
The WEFTA website (www.wefta.org) will be maintained by a webmaster. The website contains all information of the WEFTA, their national representatives, WEFTA members, WEFTA award and, WEFTA working groups according the WEFTA bylaws. News items will be published based upon information received form WEFTA members. WEFTA members can send relevant information regarding seafood science to the webmaster for publication. ?xml:namespace>
5. Membership ?xml:namespace>
Who can become a WEFTA member ?xml:namespace>
Membership can be obtained by public or private research institutions from European countries dealing with fundamental, strategic and applied research concerning seafood, raw materials from wild fisheries and aquaculture, processing, upgrading, preservation, nutrition, quality, safety, health effects, consumer aspects or related subjects.
A member of WEFTA shall be actively involved in the research areas mentioned previously and this research should be substantial. ?xml:namespace>
How to become a member ?xml:namespace>
An institution that wants to become a member of WEFTA should contact the WEFTA institution who has the secretarial function that particular year, or, if applicable, the permanent national WEFTA-representative from the country of the potential new member institution. The secretarial institution or national representative will ascertain that the application will be dealt with at the next Representatives meeting. Information needed for membership application will include a brief background description of the institute’s activities and name and contact address of a contact person. It is required that a new member has had two years of active participation (i.e. participated in meetings with presentations or posters) at WEFTA meetings. Exceptions from the 2-year can rule can be made if WEFTA is lacking a Permanent national representative institution from a country which earlier has been active. ?xml:namespace>
Permanent National representative institutions in WEFTA ?xml:namespace>
A list of Permanent national representative institution in WEFTA is presented at the homepage. The Permanent national representative institution in WEFTA has the right to hand over this position to another WEFTA member institute in their country after reaching consensus with the other WEFTA member institutes in their country. ?xml:namespace>
The Permanent national representative institution shall be the co-ordinating and official WEFTA contact institution in that country. ?xml:namespace>
Duties of a member ?xml:namespace>
Member institutions shall send delegates to annual plenary meetings and when relevant to WEFTA Working Group meetings and should encourage other institutions in their country to also do so.
Member institutions should act as mediators between WEFTA and other institutions in their country that are active within areas that fit with the Aims and activities of WEFTA, including the industry.
Member institutions are responsible for keeping the member information at the WEFTA homepage correct. Corrections should be sent to the webmaster of WEFTA.
How to terminate membership ?xml:namespace>
Membership can be terminated by written notice to the WEFTA institute which has the secretarial function. ?xml:namespace>
How to exclude a member ?xml:namespace>
At the Representatives meeting it can be decided to exclude a member, when the member has not fulfilled requirements for membership for 3 subsequent years. ?xml:namespace>
Membership fee ?xml:namespace>
There is no membership fee. ?xml:namespace>
6. Annual WEFTA Award
An Annual Award can be given by WEFTA to scientists who have contributed significantly and outstanding to the field of seafood technology in all aspects and the broadest sense covered by this term. A secondary contribution to be considered is effective work to the benefit and support of WEFTA. The award is presented as a diploma and a gift. Further, the award winner is entitled to visit the next forthcoming WEFTA meeting without paying a fee. At this meeting, an award winning lecture is expected to be given. The WEFTA Award Committee consists of five WEFTA award winners. Each year the oldest ranked award winner is the chair of the Committee. Next year this person will leave the Award Committee and the latest Award winner will be added to the committee. The chair has the duty to invite for suggestions of appropriate candidates and to organize a committee meeting at which it is to be decided who the award will be given to. The award will be presented at the official banquet of the annual meeting by the Chair of the Award Committee. ?xml:namespace>
Procedures for nominations and selecting the appropriate candidate are posted on the homepage. ?xml:namespace>
7. Working groups ?xml:namespace>
WEFTA may establish working groups (WGs) for specific purposes (see example below). These may be operated on a long term basis, or on a temporary or ad hoc basis. Delegates to WEFTA Working groups (WGs) can be WEFTA member institutes or other institutes of WEFTA member countries – if appropriate. ?xml:namespace>
WEFTA WGs meet once a year, the venue rotates among member countries. ?xml:namespace>
Inquiries for participation in WEFTA WGs have to be sent to the chairman of the WG. ?xml:namespace>
The WG chairman gives an annual report about the progress and the major activities of the WGs at the Representatives Meeting. Results emerging from WEFTA WGs’ are published when consensus about the content is reached. It should be published in appropriate journals stating in the title that the work was done in WEFTA. Reports of WGs’ meetings are confidential to participants and WEFTA members. ?xml:namespace>
Analytical methods for Fish and Fishery Products
WEFTA presently has one Working Group on "Analytical Methods for Fish and Fishery Products". The aim of this WEFTA WG is to harmonise and standardise analytical methodologies by inter-laboratory comparison exercises and ring tests. ?xml:namespace>
The WEFTA WG on Analytical methods is also discussing actual problems arising from legislation concerning seafood in member countries, Europe or International (e.g. Codex Alimentarius) and may prepare statements when appropriate. ?xml:namespace>
8. Collaboration with other organisations ?xml:namespace>
WEFTA collaborates with other organisations by inviting representatives from such organisations to the plenary WEFTA meetings. Similarly representatives from WEFTA participate in meetings hosted by other organisations. Members of other organisations are not adopted as members of WEFTA if based outside Europe.
Organisations with which WEFTA collaborates are presented at the homepage, and links are provided to these organisation’s homepages. ?xml:namespace>