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


Eighteen trainees successfully graduated with micro qualification training in Maintaining Seafood Safety and Quality in Labasa, Vanua Levu, 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.

Fiji’s Ministry of Fisheries Technical Officer Marina Mataku said, “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”.

“I congratulate and encourage our new graduates to apply these principles diligently and share your newfound knowledge with your communities. Doing so will elevate seafood safety standards, ultimately safeguarding consumer health and fostering a thriving fisheries sector in Fiji.”

The training aims to upskill learners to improve seafood safety and quality from hook to plate.

Course Developer and Trainer Shirleen Bala stressed that the programme strengthens knowledge, skills, and competencies to ensure the safety and quality of seafood are maintained after harvest.

“This includes 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.”

Selaima Dikawa, a graduate and mom entrepreneur, said the training had benefited her significantly and “strengthened my understanding and skills in working to maintain the quality of the seafood I sell”.

“The course has educated me on alternative preservation techniques such as fish drying, which sells for over $25/kg. This new venture will enable me to support my family and children’s education.” 

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

USP is one of four key implementing partners of the PEUMP. This EUR 45 million programme promotes sustainable management and sound ocean governance for food security and economic growth while addressing climate change resilience and the 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 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).

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