|Handling, Processing and Marketing of Fish in Bangladesh - Part 1 (NRI)|
|Section 4: The shrimp industry|
The situation described above has resulted in a series of missions by international experts and exhortations to establish an effective quality inspection and control service. DOF is responsible for this function through the Fish Inspection and Quality Control Service (IQCS) which issues certificates enabling processors to obtain export licences. It has two laboratories in Chittagong and Khulna, of which only the latter is presently operational. Where IQCS laboratories are not available, products are tested at Amin Agencies (in Chittagong), the Bangladesh Council for Scientific and
Industrial Research (BCSIR, in Dhaka,) and in private laboratories. Inspection consists mainly of microbiological analysis of end-products. Plant inspection is not presently carried out and IQCS has no responsibility for landing places, ice plants or peeling/decapitating establishments outside processing plants. There is also a lack of transport to enable inspections and sampling to be undertaken opportunely.
This system is not really effective, and the Service needs to be expanded in facilities, personnel, training and budget. An international programme of technical assistance has been proposed by FAO. It is expected to be operational by January 1988.
Self-regulation by an industrial body has also been proposed as a means of achieving effective quality control in Bangladesh. In support of this proposal it has been noted that companies' attitudes have evolved greatly since United States blocklisting in 1979, and they are now acutely aware of the importance of quality. However, it may be objected that, in Bangladesh as elsewhere, industry will lack the unity of purpose to work a satisfactorily effective system, in view of which the Government must continue to take primary responsibility for this function. However, were self-regulation to be wholeheartedly supported by the private sector, it would be the better system to adopt.