Staff Reporter

Seafood exports to European Union

Catch certificate made mandatory

MPEDA to monitor catch supply

KOLLAM: The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) has been authorised by the Union government to issue the catch certificate which is mandatory for all seafood exports to the European Union from January 1.

The certificate is meant primarily for preventing illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. It also aims at promoting healthy growth of the fisheries sector and fetching a reasonable price for the catch.

According to a statement issued by MPEDA Assistant Director Shaji George, all major seafood exporting countries have decided to implement the EU regulation in this regard. The catch certificate has to be prepared by the vessel operator or the exporter and this requires to be validated and counter signed by a government authority, which in India will be the MPEDA.

India exports seafood worth Rs.2,800 crore a year to the EU countries. Considering the importance of the EU markets for Indian seafood, the Centre has decided to implement the certificate scheme strictly. Based on the decision, the MPEDA has made arrangements to monitor catch supply by boats.

A computer system has been put into operation for catch data entry and speedy validation of catch certificates. Log sheets for the purpose are being distributed free of cost to exporters and boat operators.

Cooperation sought

The MPEDA has requested the cooperation of all fishing boat operators and exporters in implementing the scheme. Boat operators should submit the log sheet with relevant details to the data entry operators at fishing harbours within 72 hours of unloading the catch.