By Tom Westcott and Ashraf Abdul Wahab.
Tripoli, 11 November 2013:
The Libyan fishing sector is taking its first steps towards being able . . .[restrict]to export seafoods to the lucrative European market, with an order for new equipment.
Expected to arrive in the next two months, the order is for storage, handling and packing materials for fish, including boxes, packaging and freezers, General Manager for the Libyan Export Promotion Centre, Moneer Ali Assar, told the Libya Herald. “This equipment is all top technology and EU-manufactured,” Assar said, “so when we start using this we will see how it goes, we will see what the EU will offer us.”
Libyan waters were rich in many varieties of fish and other seafood, Assar explained, and demand would be high from European countries, many of which have over-fished their own coasts.
“To export these fish we need some new procedures, such as having special ports,” Assar said. “We also need to look at new ways of fishing, as well as handling and packaging fish for onward sales and export.”
At present, Assar said, neighbouring countries were illegally fishing Libyan waters and exporting catches to the EU under the name of their own countries. The only way to put an end to these practices, he said, was for Libya to export its own fish. “The EU knows these fish are smuggled from Libyan waters but we cannot export the fish ourselves until we get the EU registration,” he said.
Getting this EU registration is the next phase of the project to get Libyan fish into European markets, which the Export Promotion Centre is now working on. [/restrict]