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Thursday, 31 March 2011

EU calls on local fishing industry to lift its standards

Continue upgrading your exporting facilities and increase the number of fishing vessels in the country. That was the message stressed to partners in the local fishing industry by the European Union Ambassador to the Pacific, Wiepke Van Der Goot when officially celebrating the re-listing of Fiji in the EU list of countries able to export fish to the Union. Van Der Goot said that at the moment only 2 companies meet EU standards and added that in order to enhance the economic development in the country, more needs to be done. According to Van Der Goot, the reason why Fiji was delisted in 2004 was due to the fact that there were due to lack serious deficiencies to EU standards and also to the fact that people fell sick after eating Fish from Fiji. However he said that with Fiji being able to get back on the list this year, it is a good sign and should now encourage Fiji to take full advantage of the possibilities of global sourcing under the Market Access Regulation. According to Van Der Goot, Europeans are big consumers of fish and fishery products with a per capita consumption of 25 Kg per year on average, the EU the biggest importer of fish in the world with a total market of around 500 million consumers. In fact, no less than 60% of EU's required fishing products come from third countries.