9 Jun 2008

European Union ban could cost thousands of jobs in Fiji fishing industry

3:37 pm on 9 June 2008

Thousands of workers in Fiji's fish industry could lose their jobs after a European Union decision to stop buying fish from that country.

Last year the EU sent an inspection team to Fiji, which found its fish is unsafe, as there is no government body controlling the production.

The decision is expected to affect all of Fiji's fish exporters, among them Fiji Fish.

Its chief executive officer is Russel Dunham.

"It's quite significant, mainly because of the strength of the Euro and English Pound compared to the fall in the US dollar, so in recent years it's been quite a significant market to us in terms of value, not so much in volume. Some of our staff will be affected. Our factory at the moment will only be looking at less than 50 staff."

Russell Dunham says the EU demand that there be a government body overseeing the production is unviable for many countries, including Fiji.