Training Inspectors in Fiji under a SPC/FFA/DevFish II Programme / by Francisco Blaha

Longliners in Suva harbour

Longliners in Suva harbour

EU Market Access Requirements are not new concepts as such, however, experience with their implementation and sustainability has been highly mixed, especially in Pacific Islands. While the idea of accessing many wealthy customers is very tempting, the decision to export to the EU is to be based on a cost benefit analysis. Exporting to the EU is not an obligation, and it requires an equal amount of effort by the government authorities and the private sector.

Presently the EU requires official guarantees in the form of certification in two different areas, Seafood Safety and from non-Illegal, Unreported or Unregulated (IUU) fisheries. 

SPC’s Fisheries Development & Training Section has recognised that there will continue to be a constant demand for CA Regulatory verification for both established and expanding EU approved CA’s (PNG, Solomon Islands and Fiji) and for developing CA’s (currently Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Kiribati). It is therefore critical that a the  SPC/FFA/DevFish II regional standard training program first developed in 2012 is to be delivered again in 2014, to the same level as to guarantee continuity and harmonisation in between countries .

For the next 3 weeks i would be in Fiji running a hands on training for 20 officers from around the Pacific on EU market Access issues.

Is specially comforting that two of my co trainers (and more importantly, friends!) are Pacific Islanders who at some stage in the long gone past I trained as well, and today we train as a team... not many better feelings than that one!