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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nationsfor a world without hunger

In order to reduce significant losses of fish, FAO has introduced several techniques which include better preservation, processing and storage of fish products.

As most of the losses recorded are estimated, it is becoming increasingly necessary to have practical field methods of assessing physical and economic fish losses for sustainable loss reduction strategies. Through training and collaborative studies, FAO provides the necessary expertise and develops and disseminates tools/normative guidance to assist countries in conducting practical loss assessments and to establish and implement their strategies. Department's activities focus on safety and quality assurance and value addition.

    Safety and quality

    Safety and quality of fish products is of great importance for many countries in the light of increased demand, consumers' safety requirements and the globalization of fish trade. Developing countries cover over 50% of this trade, whereas developed countries account for more than 80% of total imports in value terms. Safety and quality standards are expanding in conformity with the WTO agreements on sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS) and technical barriers to trade (TBT).

    Developing countries need to meet these requirements to maintain and strengthen their market share, and actively participate in international deliberations under the auspices of Codex Alimentarius. They require international assistance to strengthen national and regional capacities. Assistance to the fish industry and its support institutions, through training and technical advice, in the assessment and management of fish safety and quality

    The Fisheries and Aquaculture Department supports these requirements by:

    • Developing appropriate Technical Guidelines
    • Supporting training and capacity building in risk assessment, Good Aquacultural, Manufacturing and Hygienic practices (GAP, GMP, GHP) and HACCP

    These activities primarily benefit fish quality controllers from the industry and the inspection services, fish quality and safety advisors, trainers, researchers and extension people.

    Value addition

    The Fisheries and Aquaculture Department participates in various Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) projects to assist developing countries with value added fisheries products. Specifically, these projects seek to identify potential products suitable for value addition, the optimization of  their technological aspects, pilot trials at the industry levels, market studies and market access activities, upscaling the technology, training and dissemination both the findings and the technological improvements.


    All CFC projects relate directly to the promotion of the private sector with explicit participation of private firms in conjunction with the national government. As a result, the capabilities of the Project Executing Agencies are strengthened through experience gained in executing these projects and with FAO support.

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