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Uganda risks EU fish ban

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd March 2004 03:00 AM

THE agriculture ministry has moved to curb illegal fish processing methods likely to cause another European Union (EU) ban of our fish exports, the state minister for fisheries, Fabius Byaruhanga said yesterday.

THE agriculture ministry has moved to curb illegal fish processing methods likely to cause another European Union (EU) ban of our fish exports, the state minister for fisheries, Fabius Byaruhanga said yesterday.

By Grace Matsiko and James Odomel

THE agriculture ministry has moved to curb illegal fish processing methods likely to cause another European Union (EU) ban of our fish exports, the state minister for fisheries, Fabius Byaruhanga said yesterday.

The Department of Fisheries Resources has investigated five fish processing firms for possession of food additives and flavour enhancers, which raise the fish’s export value by increasing the weight.

“We investigated and established some wrongdoing,” Byaruhanga said.

“I am writing a letter to all fish processors after which we shall inspect their plants for any chemicals. If they are found, they will be struck off our list and their export certificates revoked,” he said.

The EU banned Ugandan fish exports in 1997 leading to an estimated weekly loss of sh250m in export earnings until the ban was lifted in 2000. Fish exports rose to $90.7 million in 2002/03.

However, in the first six months of this financial year (July-Dec), fish overtook coffee as the leading foreign exchange earner with receipts of $57.22m compared to coffee’s $47.55m.

According to EU, some of the additives can be used as long as the fish processors indicate it on their export labels. But officials in the fisheries department said the fish processors possessed the chemicals but did not comply with the regulations regarding their use.

Uganda risks EU fish ban

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