The Fisheries Division is continuing its bid to ensure that good manufacturing practices are employed by local fishermen and from next month will stage a comprehensive training programme entitled ‘Fish Quality Assurance Techniques’.
Aimed at improving fish handling and storage practices, as well as reducing post harvest losses and fostering hygienic practices, it targets fishers (captains and crew), fish vendors, boners and cleaners and will run from Monday, September 24, to Friday, September 28.
At the micro level, the training seeks to assist vendors in identifying good quality fish; maintaining that quality throughout the marketing chain and minimising spoilage, in an effort to improve their businesses.
A comprehensive syllabus has been developed for the week-long programme, which will see fisherfolk focusing on several important areas. Topics  include:  Biological and Chemical  Aspects of  Fish; Quality Changes and Shelf life of Chilled Fish; Improving  Fish Handling Methods at  Sea and on Land;  and  Hygiene and Sanitation  Practices at  Sea and on Land’. Participants will also be introduced to Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) standards.
Efforts will also be made to ensure that the fishing personnel are ‘up to scratch’ in their business acumen.  To this end, training in Small Business Management and Customer Relations will also be included. There will also be a session on Co-operatives and Fisherfolk Associations.
In the area of fish storage, participants will be taught about the effect of storage temperatures, hygiene during handling and fish gutting.   In terms of hygiene and practices, they will be educated on the use of ice in artisanal (small-scale) fisheries and the slaughter of large scale pelagics (surface-feeding fish). 
Two field trips will also be included in the training, where participants will be given the opportunity to visit two HACCP–certified establishments. The training will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., daily.

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