Vila Times

SMAS 2019 told Fishermen to meet hygiene standards

SMAS 2019 told Fishermen to meet hygiene standards
SMAS 2019 told Fishermen to meet hygiene standards
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The Shepherd Islands fishermen have been told to meet all hygiene requirement when catching, handling, transporting and selling their fish for local consumptions or for export.
This important awareness was relayed to the fishermen by the Senior Seafood Verification Officer of the Department of Fisheries, Ms Betsy Charlie during the Department of Fisheries Awareness Day at the Shepherd Mini Agriculture Show (SMAS) in Tebakor village, Emae Island last month.
“When a fish remains in the sea, it is still a fish, but when you hooked it and bring it to your canoe, it is no longer a fish, it becomes food and this is where proper handling of the fish requires good basic hygiene,” she stressed.
Ms Charlie was giving awareness on Sea Food Security to assist and train our local fishermen to meet all minimum requirements in order to meet the standards to be able to export their fish to outside market.
“In this way, you all must need to promote good hygiene and good practices, in order to have good quality standards for good values,” she said.
Her office is working closely with the Departments of Cooperative and Industry to promote and value add fisheries produce so these kind of information is vital for fishermen in order to meet the required standards to be able to sell their fish to outside markets.
“Fishermen must ensure they are clean and comply with hygiene requirements, they are not allowed to smoke, ensure they do not have running nose, all these little practices that they normally do constitute a lot to how they handle their catch and this must be stopped when you are talking sea food security standards” she said.
She further explained her division is cross cutting to offshore and to bigger industries for export purposes and this is the reason why they must ensure all standards are regulated so that the fishermen can export their fish outside for good money.
She said her office is promoting good quality hygiene practices in men, women and young fishermen and they work closely with the fish markets in Port Vila and Luganville to ensure that fish products sold in these outlets to consumers are of good quality safe standards.
“Little things count, you just need to know how to store your fish, how to transport it to the markets and how to sell it in good quality standards.
“we work with fishermen in the islands to ensure they have clean Eskies or ice box coolers with no blood stains to ensure the coolers retain the quality of the fish in order to reach the markets,” she emphasised. Source: Ministry of MALFFB