Fiji Time: 6:47 PM on Friday 23 February

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Shrimp import concern

Simione Haravanua
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

THE Ministry of Fisheries has raised issues concerning shrimps brought into Fiji without proper documentation at the Future International Co-operation and Human Resource Development in Marine Science and Fisheries JICA-USP symposium held at the University of the South Pacific in Suva.

Ministry of Fisheries director Mesake Burebasaga says they are working closely with biosecurity officers on the issue.

"We are waiting for a response from biosecurity about the 900kg of shrimps that don't have proper documentation," he said.

"We are frightened of shrimp viral diseases coming into Fiji because we are close to Australia and they had a big problem from last year in the case of shrimp virus."

Moreover, the Ministry of Fisheries wants to improve on the production of shrimps in Fiji.

"We are trying to get technical expertise from whoever can supply it and this time we are working with people from Taiwan and Chinese experts to try and develop on this areas," said Mr Burebasaga.

"The importation of shrimps brings challenges for relevant authorities here in Fiji.

"If we are not careful with the importation of shrimps we might be also importing diseases.

"This can even kill the industry even before it stands to operate."

North principal officer fisheries Joji Vuakaca said one key area needed was a new fish factory.

"In the North we don't have any fish factory and this is one of the areas that we are looking at," he said.

"Majority of the fish coming into Viti Levu comes from the north."

Meanwhile the Ministry of Fisheries has asked assistance from Japan and Korea for the development of the shrimp industry in Fiji.

Asian countries such as China, Korea and Japan are willing to buy shrimps from Fiji.

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