Norwegian Seafood Council trains stakeholders on fish processing, exports

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By Chinyere Anyanwu                                 

The Norwegian Seafood Council  has trained fishery officers and stakeholders in aquaculture on processing and export of fish from Nigeria. The training, which took place at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, recently, is part of the Norwegian government’s contribution towards boosting the country’s fish sector.

In his welcome address, the Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Knut Leon, said the capacity building would boost the bilateral trade relations between Norway and Nigeria.

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“Stockfish is an extremely important part of our bilateral relations, trade and history. For Nigerians, it is an important part of our food culture and a really important source of our culture.

“Today, we will move a step forward to bring capacity building and training to the Nigerian fish industry. We have brought a fantastic team from Norway to train fish farmers and stakeholders in the sector. We are confident that you will find their inputs valuable.

“Stockfish trade has created jobs in Nigeria. It is a win-win situation and we will continue to fight to remove the barriers on the path of this important trade. This cannot be a one-way thing, as we appeal to the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to do their part in the equation. There must be cooperation between the two nations to benefit all sides,” Leon said.

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Also speaking, Mr. Trond Kostweit, the Director General, Africa, Norwegian Seafood Council, said in order to grow the Nigerian fish sector, aquaculture must be a priority.

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“I am very happy to be part of today’s capacity building and training we have been talking about for a while and I am absolutely sure it will be valuable to the Nigerian fish industry.

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“Norway is a seafood nation and we started exporting fish since 1800s, we have gathered a lot of experience from fishery and we are very proud of our production.

“In order to grow any fish industry, we must bank on fish farming to boost productivity. We want Nigeria to benefit from our experience and success in aquaculture. We have a lot of experience and technology to share at the training this week and we are sure it will benefit Nigeria as a country and fish farming industry,” Trond said.

In his welcome address, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Dr. Mahmood Abubakar, commended the Norwegian Seafood Council for the initiative.

Abubakar, represented by Mr. Imeh Umeh, the Director, Fisheries and Aquaculture, said the training would help to harness the huge potential in fishery and aquaculture.

“Efforts at harnessing the huge potential in fisheries and aquaculture will no doubt give an added impetus to the realisation of our shared objective of wealth creation. I wish to commend the organisers for this workshop which is apt and very timely.

“The huge gap between potential and productivity and the under utilisation of resources and opportunities in Nigeria need to be addressed urgently. The Federal Government will continue to partner with the Norwegian Seafood Council for the development and growth of fisheries and aquaculture in Nigeria. I have no doubt that this training will help to develop our fisheries officers/stakeholders on the best management practice accepted internationally,” Abubakar said.

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