On 12 and 13 November 2019 the FAO and CACFish, the Central Asian and Caucasus Regional Fisheries and Aquaculture Commission, together with EUROFISH, the International Organisation for the Development of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Europe and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Turkey organised a capacity-building workshop in Istanbul, Turkey, for government officials and industry representatives in Central Asian and Caucasian countries aiding the development of the post-harvest fisheries sector in the areas of food safety, processing, markets, and trade. The workshop was opened by Turkish Director-General for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Mr Altuğ Atalay and Viorel Gutu, Subregional Coordinator for Central Asia and FAO Representative for Turkey and Uzbekistan along with EUROFISH Director Aina Afanasjeva. The purpose of the workshop was to better enable the region’s governments to assist their industry in gaining access to international markets, creating jobs and to raise national income through trade in fisheries and aquaculture products. The workshop addressed issues faced by fish processors and traders in developing countries and economies in transition arising from the increasingly complex fish value chains that include countless import regulations, international standards, and certification schemes. Experts from FAO and its sub-regional office, the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, EUROFISH, UNCTAD, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Turkey, among others gave presentations on market access and trade related issues, implementation of traceability and labelling requirements, the impact of climate change on fisheries and aquaculture, HACCP, and other topics.
Country representatives from Turkey, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan gave an update on the current state of play in their respective fisheries and aquaculture sectors, mentioning its strong and weak sides along with opportunities to be developed. While the Turkish fisheries and aquaculture sector is well developed, many other countries in this region are constrained by their topography and a low domestic consumption. A field visit to the processing company Sağdiçlar gave insights on good manufacturing and hygiene practices and showed successful vertical integration in the value chain with the establishment of aquaculture farms to source the fish from along with supermarkets and restaurants from which the fish and fish products can be sold.
Presentations and workshop images are available here.