Minister must defend Donegal seafood exports against Chinese restrictions – Doherty

first_imgDeputy Pearse Doherty has made fresh calls on Minister Michael Creed to robustly defend Irish Live Crab exports to China in the wake of continued heightened import restrictions being imposed on consignments from the state.A number of Donegal seafood companies are directly affected by the restrictions.The call comes over a year after him having first raised the issue with the Minister of the then newly introduced import controls which place stringent restrictions on cadmium heavy metal levels contained in Live Irish crab destined for the Chinese market. The Sinn Fein Deputy said called on the Minister to redouble efforts to have the restrictions on Irish shipments lifted.He said “Over a year ago now, I raised the issue of import restrictions on Live Irish Brown Crab with the Minister in the Dáil as it was apparent then that the measures, which were introduced in October 2015, were having a hugely detrimental impact on Irish exporters who had until then enjoyed relative ease of access to the lucrative Chinese market following a bi-lateral agreement having been reached between both countries in 2010.“On this occasion, the Minister stated then that the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) was continuing to liaise with the Chinese authorities and, with the Department’s support, were working with the view to resolve the matter which had lowered acceptable cadmium levels in all Crabmeat to just 0.5mg/kg – a limit which is only imposed on white muscle meat sold within the EU.“Last week, I sought an update from the Minister as those within the industry have again expressed their alarm that they are continuing to have these restrictions imposed on Irish consignments entering China. “In his reply, the Minister confirmed that the measures were still in place, but that the SFPA here is continuing to work on a technical level with Chinese import controls, while a visit by officials from China to Irish production facilities and laboratories was also held last year to demonstrate the rigorous testing and monitoring standards of Irish seafood.“I understand that following my intervention to the Minister, officials in China are now considering an action plan which was submitted by authorities here which it’s hoped will convince our Chinese counterparts of the high standard of Irish live crab entering the country.“Of course while the Minister in my opinion has been slow to act, this latest development is to be welcomed, and so it is crucial that, at this point, both the Department and the SFPA redouble efforts to ensure that our exporters regain access to China and lift this effective ban.“Exports are estimated to have a value of some €3 million a year, with a number of vessels– including here in Donegal – providing product to several export companies located throughout the island.“It is therefore crucial that the Minister now takes a much more pro-active role in this process, and that our exporters, and all those whose livelihoods depend on this important industry, may be given the opportunity to grow and expand.” Minister must defend Donegal seafood exports against Chinese restrictions – Doherty was last modified: February 6th, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalexportsPearse Dohertyseafoodlast_img read more