The Southern Africa Development Community (SADCs) has harmonised fish trading standards which member states must follow within the free trade area.
This will include the standard of fresh fish, chilled fish, canned sardines and quick frozen fish fillets.
“We are urging Zambian manufacturers, traders and suppliers of trading in fish and other fisheries products to access and take advantage of the SADC harmonised standards and export their products in the region,” said Manuel Mutale, director at the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS).
Harmonisation is a process of creating common standards across an internal market. It must now provide a common standard for all SADC member states.
Mutale said the harmonisation of fish trading standards will ease and boost fish trade within and outside the region.
Despite a conducive environment, intra-regional trade in fish and fish products among SADC member states is considered to be very low. According to official figures, the region shared a mere 150 000 tons, or 10% of the estimated 1.5 million tons of landings per year.
Mutale said the harmonisation of standards is expected to reverse the low intra-regional trade in fish.
“This is expected to lift the trade volumes within the region and outside the region. As you may know SADC was already working on extending the harmonised standards Africa-wide,” he said.