FFA training for fish inspectors starts today in Fiji
SUVA, FIJI, 3-19 MAY 2010: A workshop, run by the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) to train personnel as fish export officers and inspectors to certify products as meeting EU and US export standards opened today in Pacific Harbour, Fiji.
The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) will train 17 people in safety of seafood exports as required for what is known in the EU as a Competent Authority - an independent government based body responsible for controlling the standard of seafood exported through inspections and audits. Countries without competent authorities cannot export fish to the EU.
Currently, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands have Competent Authorities. Staff from these countries and from countries exporting fish that may want to develop Competent Authorities (Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu) will attend the 3-week training.
The course will cover:
- Implementation of inspection, approval and surveillance
- Export requirements to US and EU
- Export certification requirements
- Hazards in fishery products
- Inspection and auditing
- Documentation and record keeping
- Non-compliance and corrective actions
- Inventory control and traceability
- Product testing and laboratory work
Trainers for the course are Cushla Hogarth from Seafood Solutions New Zealand and Richard Chivers from Strengthening Fisheries Products (a European Commission and the Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP) project to assist countries to comply with EU regulations).
FFA Fisheries Development Advisor Robert Stone said:
“Currently two Pacific Island countries have Competent Authorities and can export fish to the EU but all eight countries participating in this training export fish internationally and can benefit from trained staff to assure seafood quality.”
“We hope that this training increases national capacity of fish inspectors and institutions to meet requirements of EU and US markets. Through this kind of expertise in fish exports, FFA member countries have new opportunities to increase trade and economic benefits from their fisheries.”