The safety of the world's food supply is an issue of critical concern. Producing safe and high quality seafood in developing countries for both domestic and export markets is the focus of the Fish Utilization and Marketing Service, Fishery Industries Division, Fisheries Department, FAO. This document on economic issues associated with seafood safety was prepared to complement the work of the Service in seafood technology, plant sanitation and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) implementation. The document was written during participation by the author in the FAO Partnership Programme with Academic Institutions.

Cato, J.C.

Economic values associated with seafood safety and implementation of seafood

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) programmes.

FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 381. Rome, FAO. 1998. 70p., ISBN 92-5-102414-4, ISSN 0429-9345

Seventy percent of the world's catch of fish and fishery products is consumed as food. Fish and shellfish products represent 15.6 percent of animal protein supply and 5.6 percent of total protein supply on a worldwide basis. Developing countries account for almost 50 percent of global fish exports. Seafood-borne disease or illness outbreaks affect consumers both physically and financially, and create regulatory problems for both importing and exporting countries. Seafood safety as a commodity cannot be purchased in the marketplace and government intervenes to regulate the safety and quality of seafood. Theoretical issues and data limitations create problems in estimating what consumers will pay for seafood safety and quality. The costs and benefits of seafood safety must be considered at all levels, including the fishers, fish farmers, input suppliers to fishing, processing and trade, seafood processors, seafood distributors, consumers and government. Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) programmes are being implemented on a worldwide basis for seafood. Studies have been completed to estimate the cost of HACCP in various shrimp, fish and shellfish plants in the United States, and are underway for some seafood plants in the United Kingdom, Canada and Africa. Major developments within the last two decades have created a set of complex trading situations for seafood. Current events indicate that seafood safety and quality can be used as non-tariff barriers to free trade. Research priorities necessary to estimate the economic value and impacts of achieving safer seafood are outlined at the consumer, seafood production and processing, trade and government levels. An extensive list of references on the economics of seafood safety and quality is presented.