The Department of Fisheries has informed few local fishermen to abide with the hygienic standard when dealing with their catches of the day.
The call was made during the Fisheries’ awareness day at the recent Shepherd Mini Agriculture Show on Emae island to address proper requirements for fish handling before going for sales in both the local and export markets.
The awareness saw Senior Seafood Verification Officer of the Fisheries Department, Ms Betsy Charlie conducted and relayed the awareness to the fishermen.
Ms Charlie said when a fish remains in the sea, it is still a fish, but when it is hooked and brought to a canoe or a boat, it is no longer a fish, it becomes food. She said that this is where proper handling of the fish requires good basic hygiene.
Ms Charlie emphasized that little practices such as smoking while fishing, sick with flu or running nose must be stopped effectively by fishermen.
She pointed out that such malpractices are not allowed. She elaborated that it is not safe when handling the seafood products as they constitute unhygienic practices when as far as sea food security standards are concerned.
Ms Charlie was joined by her Fisheries colleagues as part of their fisheries awareness day on Sea Food Security to assist and train the local fishermen to start meeting the minimum requirements in order to sell good quality fish products in the local markets as well as being able to export their fish to the outside market.
The Department of Fisheries is working closely with the Departments of Cooperative and Industry to promote the food value chain and food security and this information is vital for fishermen because they are dealing with food for the human consumption.