Special Adviser to President Koroma gauges Fishing Companies preparedness for fish export to Europe

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Prof. Strasser-King who was accompanied by the Country Director of the Netherlands- based Food Management Firm, PRECON, Jeffrey Marcarthy and officials from the Competent Authority in the Ministry of Health, thanked PRECON, Ministries of Fisheries, Health and all those who in diverse ways helped in promoting the E.U. Fish Export  Certification Process. Their concern, he added was to ensure that the companies are ready and in position to meet the stipulated EU standards regarding, Hygiene and Sanitation. He described ongoing works at Chung Gang, Korea and Sierra Fishing Companies as “quite satisfactory” and expressed the hope that they will achieve the minimum EU standards with support from other partners. He promised to engage various key stakeholders in the sector with a view to addressing their challenges. While describing minerals as ‘wasting assets’, Prof. Strasser- King said the fisheries sector has a lot of potentials. “We need to diversify instead of relying too heavily on mineral resources” he said. He expressed Government’s desire to provide the enabling environment to ensure a successful implementation of the process and informed representatives of the companies that the process of enacting a new Food Safety Bill is on course with the help of key partners including the Law Reform Commission. Prof. Strasser-King hoped all stakeholders in the sector will abide by it. The Country Director of PRECON, Jeffrey Macarthy, underscored the importance of the process and hoped fishing companies will endeavour to put in place measures that would enable them meet the E.U. fish export criteria. PRECON’s Technical Expert, Mohamed Salim Kamara expressed satisfaction over progress made so far by some of the fishing companies and stressed the need for improvement. He pledged their continued support to the companies, especially in the area of capacity building. Receiving the team earlier, the General Manager, Chung Gang Fishing Company, Felix Wong thanked them for identifying themselves with their activities and promised do more in order to live up to expectation. He outlined a number of challenges facing them as well as measures put in place to ensure they comply with policies and regulations governing the sector. He called on government to create an enabling environment that would promote the industry. The General Manager, Korea Fishing Company, Edward Sesay while giving an overview of his company, noted the role it has played in promoting government’s Agenda for prosperity, including the provision of job opportunities and the establishment of a State of the-Art  Tailoring Industry that would cater for a wide range of beneficiaries including the Army and Police.

 He commended PRECON, Ministry of Fisheries and Competent Authority for providing them the necessary support and thanked the visitors for the gesture. Managing Director, Sierra Fishing Company, Bassem Mohamed, lauded government and partners for the initiative. He intimated that his company has spent huge amount money on consultancy and procurement of facilities that would meaningfully contribute to the process. He called on government to adopt policies that would enable them operate well and in turn, get appreciable returns from their investment.