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Brunei Swims Towards the EU Seafood Market

BRUNEI DARUSSALAM - The Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, in its efforts to further develop fisheries products for the global market, recently organised a seminar on the strengthening of food inspection and certification for shrimp and bivalve molluscs in Brunei Darussalam with other Asean member countries.

The two-day seminar aimed to deliver information relating to the importance of harmonisation and strengthening of the food inspection system and the certification of fisheries to two different working groups, and to gather feedback for the upcoming Regional Review Meeting, scheduled to be held in Manila, the Philippines in January 2008.

Hamdan Jaafar from the Malaysian Fisheries Department was specially invited to facilitate the seminar as well as present the guidelines, standard inspection and certification systems, according to the international standards, while sharing his experiences with participants.

Meanwhile, Department of Fisheries Director Hjh Hasnah bte Ibrahim, in her opening remarks, said the seminar will benefit the participants through capacity building in the implementation and upgrading of the monitoring and certification system for shrimps and bivalve molluscs.

The seminar, she said, is also expected to upgrade the quality control system of the Fisheries Department to meet the standard requirements of importing countries such as the European Union.

At present, Brunei Darussalam has successfully exported shrimps in small quantities to countries such as Japan, Korea and the United States.

Apart from relevant authorities involved in food inspection and certification, also present at the seminar were representatives from the National Standard and Accreditation Centre of the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, which is responsible for the issuance of Hazard Analysis and Critical Condition Point (HACCP) and Good Aquaculture Practices (GaqP) certification for the processing establishments of the fisheries sector to support the products manufactured for the international market.

Another working group comprised officers and staff of the Department of Fisheries that are involved in the inspection and monitoring activity of fishing vessels, fish landing sites, ponds and processing establishments which produce fisheries products for export purposes.