Title: Strength and weaknesses of the export fisheries sector in Sierra Leone and recommendations for impvrovement (abstract)

Final project
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Supervisors: Margeir Gissurarson


Sierra Leone Fisheries accounted for around 11% of Sierra Leone's GDP in 2003. The main catch comprises shrimp, cuttlefish, tuna, and spiny lobster. Although some exports are registered, estimated at US$13.6 million in 1998, fishing is essentially at subsistence level. Frozen shrimps constitute the highest foreign-exchange earner amongst marine products. Industrial and artisanal are the two main types of fishing. FAO statistics 2000 to 2008 shows positive increase in catches. While it is apparent that traditional quality control is unable to eliminate quality problems, a preventive strategy with objectives of the quality assurance programme must be implemented. However, in recent years the situation has been discussed and by fisheries authorities and a number of new quality systems have been introduced in the industry, such as certification under an International Accepted Standard (ISO 9000 series) and Total Quality Management (TQM). One reason for this development is that a number of national food legislations put the responsibility of food quality on the producer (EEC Council Directive 91/493/EEC (EEC 1991b). Sierra Leones fishing industry, if interested in gaining permanent access to EU market, should look toward Iceland’s success which has since 1993 followed the European Union (EU) regulations and used the requirements laid down in Council Directive 91/67/EEC (concerning the Animal Health Conditions Governing the Placing on the Market of Aquaculture Animals and Products) and the disease control measures provided for in Directive 93/53/EEC (Minimum Community Measures for the Control of Certain Fish Diseases). The capacity of the competent authority in Sierra Leone needs to be well informed if it is to cope with EU regulations. 

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