17 March 2003, Rome -- The Canadian
Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and FAO have launched the Aquatic
Food Product Initiative (AFPI).
goal of the AFPI is to assist developing countries in the
production of fish and seafood products by creating a knowledge
base of scientific information.
initiative will promote a better understanding of the safety and
quality factors related to the production and processing of
aquatic species as food for human consumption.
Increased mass production, coupled with increased
globalization and trade, has multiplied the risk of cross-border
transmission of infectious agents and food poisoning outbreak.
By providing greater access to scientific
knowledge, the AFPI will assist developing countries to access
international markets in the context of sustainable development
and facilitate active participation in standard setting
organizations such as the Codex Alimentarius. It will also
generate information that can help in the delivery of training
programs and education.
trade is very important as approximately 37 percent of the
world's fish production is being traded across national
borders, half of which originates in developing countries.
By fostering cooperation between the FAO,
the CFIA and various international institutions, the initiative
will also generate a knowledge base that will be used to assist
subject matter experts involved in the production and processing
of a wide variety of fish and seafood products.
Based on the well-proven EcoPort technology (see
links), which operates under the auspices of the EcoPort
consortium and the patronage of ex-President of South Africa
Nelson Mandela and Harvard Professor Edward Wilson, the
technological tool, which will disseminate the information to
recipient countries, is known as FishPort.
This technology will allow scientists from around the
world to collate and link comprehensively information in the
field of aquatic food safety and quality to a central
"This global knowledge
system will allow users in developed and developing countries to
access pertinent and up-to-date information on fish safety and
quality," FAO experts say.
creation of the AFPI has been internationally recognized as one
of the first examples of efforts to develop a preventative and
integrated food chain approach to food safety based on science,
according to same experts.
Canada has a long standing reputation for assisting developing
countries through the collaboration of scientific experts
involved in the environmental sciences, fisheries management and
fish processing practices.
Director, FAO Fishery
(+39) 06 5705 6510
Programme facilitator, AFPI
(+1) 506 3812459