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Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 17, 2020 (SKNIS): The Ministry of Agriculture has established new, upgraded standards and procedures at the Basseterre Fisheries Complex to ensure that products purchased by consumers are fresh local fish.

A few weeks ago, there were some issues raised about several items purchased from the fisheries complex. Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Alexis Jeffers, said that the issues were thoroughly researched, and investigated with samples being tested by multiple labs including a facility in New Jersey.

He said that the results validated the sound procedures practiced at the Basseterre Fisheries Complex as the fish in question came from outside of “our food system.”

“There are systems in place now where we can trace where these fish would have come from, the minister told the parliament on Wednesday (December 16) during the debate for the 2021 Budget.

The new system requires all fishermen doing business at the Basseterre Fisheries Complex to obtain a permit from the Department of Marine Resources. The fish provided by each fisherman is logged at the complex and is kept separate. They are then offered for sale, all the while remaining isolated from other catches.

“There is a system whereby you can now trace if there is any difficulty,” said Minister Jeffers, while thanking the permanent secretary and other ministry officials for their efforts in “cleaning up the process so that our consumers can be confident in what they are consuming.”

The agricultural minister encouraged local supermarkets to stand by the fisheries complex as “they have done what is necessary to eliminate the difficulties that existed.”

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