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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: Australia Terminates Imports of Raw Shrimp  (อ่าน 3963 ครั้ง)
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« เมื่อ: สิงหาคม 07, 2007, 09:59:50 AM »



The Australian Government has decided to implement new quarantine regulations on imported shrimp that will prevent all imports of raw shrimp!  The regulations ban imports of raw shrimp from countries that harbor shrimp diseases.  Imports of highly processed shrimp will be allowed—namely battered, marinated and cooked shrimp.

 

Biosecurity Australia, the arm of the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry that provides science-based quarantine assessments and policy advice to protect the agricultural industry, says its strict measures are aimed at keeping shrimp diseases out of Australia’s fisheries and off its farms.  Its decision will be reviewed by a group of independent, eminent scientists and then be open to appeal.  The new measures are expected to be in place by September 2007.

 

Australia’s shrimp fishermen and farmers are happy with the decision because the prices they receive for their shrimp are bound to increase, but importers are angry, and several countries that supply Australia with shrimp are planning to challenge the new measures at the World Trade Organization.

 

Senator Eric Abetz, Australia’s Fisheries Minister, says the new measures were not to satisfy shrimp farmers or shrimp fisherman, nor were they designed to upset shrimp importers.  They were designed to keep shrimp diseases out of Australia.  Abetz says the decision will rise or fall on the robustness of the science on which it was made.  Biosecurity Australia is satisfied that the scientific basis of the decision is sufficiently robust to pass any assessment.  Abetz said: “Biosecurity Australia has assessed that new measures are required to protect Australia’s shrimp stocks from the risk of disease being introduced.  ...Australia takes a science-based and conservative approach to quarantine risk.  ...These stronger quarantine measures reflect this approach and follow the release of a draft import risk analysis late last year by Biosecurity Australia and the consideration of over 50 submissions received in response to that draft.  ...The new quarantine measures are being put in place while work continues to finalize this import risk analysis.”

 

Scott Walter, a spokesman for the Australian Prawn [shrimp] Farming Association, believes that the scientific evidence warrants a ban on raw shrimp imports.  Walker said: “There is a heavy amount of science out there. I know that there’s been a bit of an uproar recently, sort of countering that, but it’s strong, the science is very, very strong and that’s why Biosecurity Australia has obviously reached this decision.  You know, they haven’t reached it lightly, its something we’ve been pushing quite hard for, for a long time, and we’re very pleased that...the science has finally won out.  Government testing of imported raw shrimp late last year found 100 percent were carrying exotic diseases.”

 

George Kailis, the Vice President of Australian Seafood Importers Association, says the decision has not been well received, particularly in Asia, which supplies most of Australia’s raw shrimp.  “We’ve been advised by various countries that they have reported Australia to the WTO....”  Kailis says Australia’s suppliers will force the Government to defend the reasons behind its decision.

 

“We’re getting screwed politically,” said Harry Peters, chairman of the Australian Seafood Importers Association.  The group’s 40 members handle about 80% of seafood imports from nations including China, Thailand, Vietnam and Norway.  The importers claim that if more onerous tests for diseases that infect shrimp are required, China, Vietnam and Thailand will pursue the case with the World Trade Organization.  “They’ve already discussed this with the WTO in Geneva last month,” said Peters.  He said the new tests were unreliable and would cause safe shipments to be rejected.  “No importer can afford to bear the loss of a $250,000 shipment,” he said.  “This is nothing but political bastardry.  ...Nowhere in the world at any time in the last 100 years has a disease been transferred to living shrimp by dead shrimp,” he added.

 

Sources: 1. ABC.net.au.  Importers vow to fight prawn ban (http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2007/s1987229.htm).  Mark Colvin and Matt Brown.  July 24, 2007.  2. Herald Sun.  Government gets tough on foreign prawns (http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,22127409-5005961,00.html).  July 24, 2007.  3. FishUpdate.com.  Australia: Prawn quarantine measures strengthened (http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fullstory.php/aid/8152/Australia:_Prawn_quarantine_
measures_strengthened.html).  July 24, 2007.  4. Food Week Online.  Tough prawn import restrictions defended (http://www.foodweek.com.au/main-features-page.aspx?articleType=ArticleView&articleId=531).  July 25, 2007.

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