China Lifts Indonesian Seafood Embargo


Linda Salim, for SeafoodSource from Surabaya, Indonesia

Published on
February 7, 2008

During a press conference in Jakarta on Monday, Saut P. Hutagalung, spokesperson for the Indonesian Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Ministry, announced that the Chinese government had lifted its ban on Indonesian seafood.

The ban was imposed in August of last year, when Chinese custom officials found toxic levels of certain substances, including mercury, cadmium and nitrofural, on Indonesian seafood imports.

Mercury and cadmium are chemicals found mostly near industrial and mining fields, while nitrofural is an anti-bacterial found carcinogenic in lab-tested animals.

Last month, a Chinese representative was sent to Indonesia to inspect its seafood after the countries negotiated to normalize Indonesian seafood exports. Chinese and Indonesian officials have agreed upon food-quality standards to use on all food trading between the countries.

Saut declared the Chinese investigation on Indonesian seafood was satisfactory. China immediately agreed to process the lifting of the ban, which became effective on Feb. 5.

Indonesian seafood exports to China are worth U.S. $150 million annually.

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