As of this year, the Chinese Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) started to send investigation teams to various countries exporting fishmeal to China.
Pakistani fisheries authorities have received a report of an inspection team of China, saying that China has allowed continuing import of fishmeal from Pakistan.
All the five fishmeal plants have also been approved by AQSIQ China. “However, there is a need to further improve the quality to boost up fishmeal exports to China,” a Pakistan official said.
Fishmeal is usually used as poultry feed. Pakistan has a capacity of producing 52,000 tons of fishmeal annually. Besides China, Pakistan exports fishmeal to Sri Lanka, Egypt, Malaysia, Indonesia, Russia and Vietnam.
The country exported 42,500 tons in 2008/09, while exports declined to 35,200 tons in 2009/10 due to lack of fish catch and less production.
On the other hand, Pakistani fisheries authorities are waiting for response of the European Union for seafood exports from Pakistan, which was suspended four years ago.
The European Union de-listed all Pakistani seafood exporters in April 2007 and since then the ban remained. Out of the 28 processing units, 11 had been exporting to the EU, but currently, none of them is listed.
EU inspectors defined two main deficiencies, the lack of traceability and deficient cold chain. Under the cold chain, temperature has to be maintained at 6 °C for fresh fish and -12 °C for frozen fish.