Ten scientists from Bangladesh are being trained this month in aquaculture food safety by seafood experts from FDA and the University of Maryland Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN).
Aquaculture, the controlled production of seafood, is now the fastest-growing segment of agriculture worldwide and accounts for more than half of all fish produced. The industry has grown by 11 percent each year over the past 20 years.
Eighty-five percent of the seafood consumed in the United States comes from more than 50 countries and, of that imported fish, 40 percent comes from aquaculture operations, according to the FDA.
A primary focus of the program, intended to eliminate health hazards in farmed fish, is on the dangers associated with shrimp production and FDA regulations concerning seafood imports, according to an FDA press release.
“Collaborating with other countries in this way not only helps to improve the quality and safety of their domestic product, but also what they export to the United States and other countries around the world,” said Dr. Murray Lumpkin, FDA deputy commissioner for International Programs.
The seafood safety training, which has been ongoing since 2006, includes demonstrations, lectures and group activities. Similar training has been conducted in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Malaysia.
The trainees from Bangladesh are part of a group that participated in a Good Aquacultural Practices program in their home country last year. They hope to further improve the safety of aquaculture in their country over the next five years and will be qualified to train others there.
The current training was conducted Sept. 15-18 in College Park, Md. and a second training session begins today through Sept. 24 in Princess Anne, Md., and Cambridge, Md.