FAO FISHERIES PROCEEDINGS
Sixth World Congress on
14–16 September 2005
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James, D.; Ababouch, L.; Washington, S.(eds).
Fish and fish products are among the most traded food commodities: close to 40
percent by volume ends up in international markets. About half of those exports by
value originate in developing countries. Yet around three-quarters of fish exports finish
up in just three markets; the European Union, Japan and the United States of America.
China is an increasingly important player both as an exporter and an importer.
Consumers expect that the fish they have access to will be safe and of acceptable
quality, regardless of where it is produced or ultimately consumed. Measures
to encourage the harmonization of safety and quality standards and to facilitate
international trade are part of the regulatory framework generated by the World Trade
Organization (WTO). The Codex Alimentarius Commission also plays an important
role in setting international standards for food safety. Despite international agreements,
fish exporters still face safety and quality regimes that vary from one jurisdiction to
another. The current multitude of approaches imposes significant costs on exporters,
especially those from developing countries where there is limited capacity to develop
comprehensive safety and control infrastructures.
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