Strengthening Seafood Safety and Quality and Empowering Fiji’s Seafood Industry

 

Labasa, Fiji – [19 June, 2024]: Eighteen trainees became successful graduates of micro qualification training in Maintaining Seafood Safety and Quality in Labasa, Vanua Levu in Fiji on Friday 14 June, 2024. This training was spearheaded by the University of the South Pacific (USP) as part of the Pacific-European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) Programme, funded by the European Union and the Government of Sweden.

“Ensuring seafood safety and proper cold chain management are essential practices that will enhance the health and trust of consumers and drive sustainability and growth of enterprises,’ said Marina Sadrugu Mataku, Fisheries Technical Officer, Fiji Ministry of Fisheries. “I congratulate and encourage our new graduates to apply these principles diligently and share your newfound knowledge with your communities. By doing so, you will elevate the standard of seafood safety standard, ultimately safeguarding consumer health and fostering a thriving fisheries sector in Fiji.”

This training aims to upskill learners in order to improve seafood safety and quality from hook to plate.

“This program strengthens knowledge, skills and competencies in ensuring that the safety and quality of seafood is maintained after harvesting.” said Shirleen Bala, course developer and trainer. “These include demonstrating basic post-harvest seafood handling skills; outlining causes of seafood spoilage and quality control factors; and applying inspection techniques and guidelines to maintain seafood quality.”

“This training has strengthened my understanding and skills in working to maintain the quality of the seafood I sell.” said Selaima Dikawa, graduate and mom entrepreneur. “The course has educated me on alternative preservation technique such as fish drying which sells for more at $25/kg. This new venture will enable me to support my family and my children’s education.”

The training has been carried out in Kiribati, Samoa, Tonga and now in Fiji. It may be followed by other upskilling programs such as value chain analysis, upscaling community-based management, financial literacy and leadership trainings.

USP is one of four key implementing partners of the PEUMP Programme, a EUR 45million program which promotes sustainable management and sound ocean governance for food security and economic growth while addressing climate change resilience and conservation of marine biodiversity.

It follows a comprehensive approach, integrating issues related to ocean fisheries, coastal fisheries, community development, marine conservation and capacity building under one single regional action. The PEUMP programme is housed within the Institute of Marine Resources within the School of Agriculture, Geography, Environment, Ocean and Natural Sciences (SAGEONS).

Media Contact

Lore Croker, USP PEUMP Communications, lore.croker@usp.ac.fj

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