U.S. warned Guyana about fish ban since Nov. 2015
The U.S. Government Wednesday afternoon said that it informed Guyana of changes to its food safety regulations regarding fish and shrimp since November 2015 and even extended the deadline for compliance.
The country’s failure to comply by the revised February 3, 2018, deadline has led to a ban on certain catfish species entering the U.S. market and represents a “big blow” to the local fishing industry, authorities here have said.
“We understand that the Government of Guyana is working on complying, but it has not fully met the standards of the new processes associated with the regulations and until it does we cannot accept any catfish from Guyana,” the U.S. Embassy said in a statement.
The new U.S standards require the presence of inspectors on plants for one hour during an 8-hour shift; Guyana failed in this regard. In addition, Guyana did not satisfy requirements for sufficient documentation detailing verification of each step in the sanitation and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) process. Further, there was insufficient documentation specifying how the industry manages adulterated catfish products.
“We have offered technical assistance to the Government of Guyana to help Guyana fishermen and women to comply.
“Our offer still stands, but it cannot be accomplished overnight,” the Embassy stated.
The Embassy said the U.S. Government takes very seriously the protection of the world’s waterways and marine life and is constantly its regulations and processes to ensure that waterways and marine life are protected.
“Most countries in the hemisphere have now complied with the regulations and we believe that Guyana eventually can and will comply as well,” the Embassy stated.
Among the fishes banned are Giilbacker, Cuma Cuma, Cuirass, Hassar and Kukwari.