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Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Sierra Leone : Fisheries Certification Project

The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources and the European Union have had a consultative meeting with PRECON Food Management on how far has the consultancy agreement to secure the European Union Export Market Certification for Sierra Leone’s Fisheries and Marine exports to EU markets have gone. PRECON Food Management is a Netherlands-based Consultancy Firm. Giving an overview on the said agreement, the Senior Director of the Strategy and Policy Unit in the Office of the President, Professor Victor Strasser King said the meeting was also geared towards the urgent need to accomplishing the certification exercise and to engender broadened technical support and to also collaborate with development partners in the fishing sector. He said the Ministry contracted PRECON to ensure they obtained transparency in the country’s fishing industry. He said they are towards the end of the process and that the country would shortly get to the requirements of the certification. He further added that the Ministry should be one of the key drivers towards the economic development of the country and that Government should not only focus on other sectors but to also pay keen attention to the industry. The Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Charles Rogers briefly said the process started long ago and that they are at the point of obtaining certification. He said the process was motivated by the visit of a delegation from the EU who highlighted the issues that are duly to be addressed in order to obtain certification. In his PowerPoint presentation, the Country Representative of the PRECON Food Management , Jeffrey Macarthy said though there were some challenges during the ebola outbreak in the country, they were able to reach the point where the certification process is imminent. He said the FAO Audit of 2009 rejected fish import because inspections undertaken by the Competent Authority (CA) was not complete and adequate. He noted that monitoring and inspection plans were missing during the process. He also said water and Ice production are not part of a regular inspection and that supervision of vessels and establishment were also inadequate. He urged the CA to inspect and enforce monitoring in an organised inspection program and also to keep a register of export approved vessels.

Source: http://awoko.org/