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State Veterinary Office Receives Prestigious Award

BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA - Bosnia and Herzegovinas State Veterinary Office (SVO) is one of the winners of FAOs 2010-2011 Edouard Saouma Award for its outstanding contribution to the implementation of the Technical Cooperation Project for Strengthening Capacity on Aquaculture Health Management.

The project assisted Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in acquiring a license to export fish products to the European Union and increasing production by 12 per cent.

BiHs annual fish production is approximately 8,000 tons. The country has great potential to expand production. Investing in fish processing capacities could be a good opportunity for foreign investors.

The project Strengthening capacity on aquaculture health management was launched to improve national capacities to support sustainable and healthy aquaculture production, both for domestic consumption and trade.

The project focused on policy and national aquatic animal health (AAH) strategy, European Union (EU) trading and AAH, risk analysis in aquaculture, product safety and quality assurance, and diagnostics, surveillance and reporting of aquatic animal diseases.

As a result, the SVO developed a draft national AAH management strategy, a disease diagnostic manual for extension workers and a veterinary inspectors checklist for aquaculture farms and fish processing plants, all published in local language and disseminated. The national AAH reference laboratory was strengthened through overseas training and provision of equipment.

These activities assisted the country in acquiring a license to export fish products to the EU market. In 2008, EU has approved four fish processing facilities from BiH for export.

According to FAO, BiH aquaculture production increased by 12 per cent during the project (from July 2006 to May 2008) and export of fish products to the EU commenced. The veterinary administration, inspectorates, laboratories and producers have improved compliance to international animal health, food safety and quality requirements and practices.

The SVO developed a risk-based approach important for drafting monitoring plans for aquaculture, aquatic animal health and food safety, and for decision making concerning domestic and international movements of live aquatic animals and their products.

the Fish Site Editor

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