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


Last month, 13 trainees became the first cohort to graduate with the micro qualification in Maintaining Seafood Safety and Quality in Apia, Samoa. This was made possible through the European Union and Government of Sweden-funded USP Pacific European Union Marine Partnership project and aims to upskill learners to improve seafood safety and quality from ‘hook to plate’.

At the conclusion of the training, Roseti Imo, Assistant Chief Executive Officer (A.C.E.O) for the Fisheries Division at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, expressed that “the objective of this training initiative is to elevate seafood practices among Samoa nationals already involved in the seafood industry, ensuring the highest standards of quality and safety for seafood consumption”.

Mr Imo is optimistic that the newly graduated individuals will transition into proficient professionals, trainers, and champions for sustainable seafood practices, actively sharing their acquired knowledge within their respective communities.

This program strengthens knowledge, skills, and competencies to ensure that the safety and quality of seafood are maintained after harvesting. 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.

Shirleen Bala, the course developer and trainer for USP PEUMP, stressed the importance of professionals in the seafood industry continually updating their skills and adjusting to industry developments.

“Our Micro-Qualification in Maintaining Seafood Safety and Quality is tailored to meet the industry’s evolving demands, equipping individuals with the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in this dynamic sector.”

”The training is very helpful in understanding the science behind the deterioration process of fish and using this to improve hygiene practices in the handling of the fish from the point of catch to when the consumers buy your product. Keeping it at best optimal quality that the fish was caught in. “ workshop trainee and small seafood business owner, Ms Maselina Ah Kuoi-Chu Shing

This training has been carried out in Kiribati, Samoa, will be carried out in Tonga in May 2024 and may be followed by other upskilling programs 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 Programme, a EUR 45 million 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 regio nal 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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