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NEW ZEALAND FISH SECTOR MOVES TO NEW ALERT LEVEL

NEW ZEALAND FISH SECTOR

New Zealand fish sector moves to new alert level. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) in New Zealand has set up a register for safe practice in the sector as New Zealand moves to National Alert Level 4 in response to COVID-19, says director-general Ray Smith.

“Alongside [Agriculture and Food Safety] Minister [Damien] O’Connor, I met with more than 90 sector stakeholders by conference call yesterday,’’ Mr Smith says.

“It was an extremely constructive meeting and I know that everyone who took part wants to do their best for New Zealand as we meet the COVID-19 challenge.”

Mr Smith says MPI requires safety assurances from operators that their processes protect workers and the public by limiting interactions between staff and reducing the potential spread of COVID-19.

“The Government’s declaration of essential services approves those operating in the primary sector, but we just need to verify that operators are following safe practices.

“We are asking 11 critical questions about how you intend to stop any spread of COVID-19,” says Mr Smith.

Meanwhile, in a statement, Seafood New Zealand said: “This is a serious situation and the welfare of our people must be paramount. If they are still working in a factory or on a vessel, every measure to keep them safe must be implemented. Social distancing is critical. If they are working from home check on their mental wellbeing.”

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