Export seafood quality not affected by mass fish deaths: VASEP
Recent mass fish deaths in the central provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue did not affect the supply or safety of export aquatic material as well the quality of seafood products, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said in a press release.
The statement comes as the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department (NAFIQAD) reported that an EU authority on May 24 sent a document to EU member countries suggesting they closely control aquatic products imported from Vietnam and informed them of mass fish deaths in the country.
According to the VASEP, provinces from central Da Nang to south-central Binh Dinh, Khanh Hoa, Phu Yen and Binh Thuan and southern Kien Giang and Ca Mau provide raw material for businesses to process and export seafood products. Some businesses import material from other countries for processing.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development confirmed that seafood caught beyond 20-30 nautical miles from the shores of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue was safe.
The ministry directed measures to ensure environmental protection and food safety.
Food safety inspection agencies have also increased examinations of fishing activities and seafood samples to meet domestic and international food safety standards.
The NAFIQAD requested firms not buy dead fish for processing and export, while taking seafood samples to test for pollutants.
Processing companies and exporters have tightened measures to trace the origin of seafood products.
Seafood exports are forecast to increase in 2016. Tuna and octopus exports are projected to surge by 12 and 10 percent, respectively.
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