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Lesson 1 from The IAFI World Seafood Congress
Wednesday,25 November,2009 08:35:49
I learned heaps about being involved at the pointy end of major meetings from this event. Make no mistake it is hard work and calls for all sorts of skills. I had fun but what did we learn from it all? This is my take on the major issues. I will create a series of lessons over the next couple of blogs.
If you are a governing body that wants to change rules and regulations then you need to really think them through and consult heavily with industry people who will need to implement them. Also have a plan to get across the line. See my blog Importance of Training.
The European Union did not come out of the workshops or the Congress smelling of roses regarding their new IUU regulations. Why in the world can we not agree on an IUU system that everyone adopts is beyond me. FAO have their Ports IUU strategy under way, USA has a system, EU has a system and I expect others will all join with different systems creating mountains of paperwork and confusion for the poor old fisherman and people along the way that need to meet the regulation.
In addition, the EU has said the deadline will not change from January 1, 2010. This could well leave many importers and consequently store shelves short on fish/seafood and this point was brought home by a major importer at the Congress. They highlighted that the form that had to be filled out was done without any good industry consultation and that it has many common sense flaws. Their final statement was, “In its present form, the (EU) IUU legislation will in practice make the local processing of fishery products in the exporting third countries very difficult, if not impossible, and can be seen as a serious trade barrier.”
Lesson One: Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated seafood is a world issue and we all need to take responsibility for reporting the cheats. Look at what happens when industry allows bad practices – Governments regulate and create major problems.
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