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Italy gives New Zealand shellfish the green light

Hon David Benson-Pope, MP
Member of Parliament for Dunedin South
Minister of Fisheries

5 August 2005 Media Statement

Italy gives New Zealand shellfish the green light

Fisheries Minister David Benson-Pope is delighted Italy has decided to lift its ban on the import of live New Zealand shellfish.

Mr Benson-Pope says Italy has confirmed that it will allow the export from New Zealand of all species of live molluscs for direct human consumption, removing barriers that had shut New Zealand shellfish out of the Italian market around a year ago.

That decision had particularly affected New Zealand cockle and oyster exporters.

"This is very significant," said Mr Benson-Pope. "This is good news for New Zealand exporters and good news for Italian importers.

"In 2004 New Zealand exported around $10million worth of shellfish to Italy. As Italy is a major importer of seafood, there are real opportunities to grow this market.

"Earlier in the year I raised New Zealand's concerns with my Italian counterpart. He took our concerns seriously and the Italian government has responded. It is now a lot clearer as to what European Union rules on this issue mean and how they will be interpreted.

"I am delighted by the response of the Italian government on this issue," said Mr Benson-Pope.


ENDS

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