9 Jun 2008

EU says it has banned Fiji fish exports because processing is poorly monitored

7:47 pm on 9 June 2008

The European Union says it has started an assistance programme to help Fiji improve the way it monitors its fish processing.

The EU imposed a ban on Fiji fish after finding that the agency meant to vet the production was incapable of doing this.

Its trade advisor in Fiji, Andrea Salviati, says they believe the fish carry health risks for EU consumers and that's why it imposed a ban.

Mr Salviati says it will assist Fiji in helping to raise the standards of the government agency overseeing production.

"The competent authority at present is not so competent, to fulfil with EU standards, which are very high standards compared to other countries, like US or Japan. The main issue is to improve the body that they already have. The technical assistance already started and it's entirely funded by the EU."

Andrea Salviati, an European Union trade advisor in Fiji.

The EU's move is expected to cause significant job losses in Fiji.