Expert Details

Expert in Health Conditions for International Trade in Fisheries Products, Food Safety, and EU Fisheries

Expert ID: 721863 Portugal

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Expert has worked in the Instituto Nacional de Pesca of Ecuador, developing industry codes of practice for processing and handling of farmed and wild-caught shrimp and shrimp products. Assisted with the design and implementation of export certification activities of $450 million (USD) worth of product per year, mainly shrimp products. He introduced new plant approval procedures and laboratory tests to support inspection decisions. More recently, Expert has advised importers in the EU on a number of claims regarding damaged or rejected cargo, including one dispute regarding application of microbiological standards as a criteria for rejection of frozen cooked peeled shrimp.

He has twenty years experience in the fishery industry, as a QC Manager, then in academic, overseas development and freelance consultancy functions. He has worked in over 30 countries on all continents, advising the fishery industry on various aspects of quality management and regulatory compliance. He has also worked substantially with Governments, assisting their inspection authorities to meet the requirements of the EU and FDA for advanced systems of product safety.

Expert has worked for a major UK trout farming company developing new trout products for sale in Marks and Spencer, one the UK's most prestigious retailers. Products included chilled trout in modified atmosphere packaging, hot smoked trout and smoked trout pate, using fish mince reclaimed with a Baader 694 deboner. The work involved a substantial amount of shelf life testing, monitoring of spoilage patterns, identification of food safety hazards and design and introduction of suitable quality assurance programmes to the production floor.

He has advised inspection agencies in eighteen tropical countries on the design of official control systems for the reduction or elimination of hazards related to fishery products. This includes control systems for bivalve mollusca (oysters, mussels and clams; monitoring systems for marine biotoxins (toxic algal blooms - TABs); control of ciguatera toxins in reef fish; design of residue monitoring programmes for veterinary drug and other toxic residues in fishery and aquaculture products.

Expert designed an industrial production process for hot smoked trout using the basic Torry kiln design. The process was based on achieving microbiological safety and shelf life extension of the product, whilst maximising product yield. The product is still on sale in the UK Marks and Spencer chain. A significant amount of work was conducted studying the brining process, to ensure that critical limits for control of the Clostridium botulinum hazard were attained.

Expert has advised governments and industry on meeting the regulatory requirements of the EU and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for seafood safety. This has included Own Checks and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Systems (HACCP) as required by EU Directive 91/493/EEC and the CFR 21 Part 175. He has assisted a wide range of seafood processing companies with each of the seven principles of HACCP, covering many different products including smoked, canned, fresh, frozen products, fish (including canned tuna), crustacea and bivalve and cephalopod molluscan shellfish.

He was fish technology research and training adviser at University of Alexandria, Egypt. Over a four-year period, he supervised a series of research projects on improved utilisation of tilapia (bolti) from fish farms in the Nile delta. The programme of work included characterisation of the raw material (yields, shelf life, and spoilage characteristics) and pilot scale preparation of a range of value added fish products such fillet blocks, burgers, breaded fish fingers, etc.

He has worked in the Caribbean on board a long-liner fishing for tuna, swordfish and other large pelagic fish. He developed a board HACCP plan for the management of food safety, especially in relation to the control of the histamine hazard in fresh chilled fish of the tuna family. He has also worked with the tuna canning industry in Ecuador, Ghana, Seychelles and Portugal advising on the steps required to meet EU and U.S. FDA regulatory requirements for canned food safety and histamine hazard control.

Expert has advised food industry clients (mainly in fish processing) but also in poultry, meat and dairy sectors over a twenty-year period. He has developed close links with regulatory agencies in Washington, D.C. (FDA) and Brussels (European Commission DG SANCO). This has proved invaluable in helping food industry clients ensure that regulatory compliance aspects of their quality management programmes have been maintained.

He is a qualified Environmental Health Officer and worked for four years in the UK where he was responsible for food hygiene enforcement in a busy seaside resort. This included routine advisory inspection, management of food poisoning outbreaks, and some enforcement action in taking prosecutions for offences committed. He participated regionally regarding the coordination of food safety enforcement issues. In 1998 and 1999, he directed a major EU-funded project in Latvia, assisting the government to harmonise food control systems in support of accession to the European Union. This work included a complete revision of the legislative process and the legislative framework, training of food inspectors, restructuring of the food inspection activities of two Ministries, and the provision of policy advice to the Minister and senior civil servants in the operation of the food control system and the role of official laboratories in food safety.

Over the last eight years, as Managing Director of Megapesca, a food and fisheries consultancy company in Portugal, Expert has prepared and managed a series of projects in the area of fisheries. These have concerned fisheries management, the EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), fisheries monitoring control and surveillance, studies on discards in fisheries and extensive research on the socioeconomic dependency, and employment in the fishery sector in Europe.

He has provided specialist services to a number of cargo claims concerning fishery products (containerised or bulk-stowed) working on behalf of cargo or transport vessel insurers. This has included attending the incident, often at short notice, to supervise the discharge and sorting process in a foreign port, with a view to gathering information to help assess liability for the damage or for the assessing quantum of the claim. This has been followed up with analysis of data, and the preparation of expert reports in support of an arbitration or court hearing. On six occasions, he has provided written and verbal evidence in open hearing and has been subject to cross-examination.

In Kuwait, Expert provided technical assistance for the development of a HACCP plan in a poultry production company.In the United Kingdom, he advised clients on the technical and legal basis for contesting the rejection of a consignment of cooked and peeled shrimp at a UK border inspection post.European Community health and sanitary regulations for fishery imports in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries advised the governments of four Gulf countries (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain) of steps required to meet the requirements of EU Directive 91/493/EEC in respect of third country supplies.In Latvia, he was responsible for directing the project “Technical Assistance to Support Food Quality Control and Regulation at National and Sector Level” (1.7 M€), to assist Latvia harmonise food control systems as part of their EU accession strategy. He prepared project proposal and key reports and coordinated project activities with Ministries of Agriculture and Welfare. Expert managed a team of 12 international and six local consultants, plus three training institutes. He provided strategic project support in areas of food safety policy, and re-organisation of food inspection and laboratory services. He also designed a programme of training and TA support to over 120 food companies.In China and Hong Kong, he provided expert witness services in a series of disputes involving the rejection of a cargo of frozen Ilex squid valued at $16.6 million (USD). He reviewed documentation and prepared a detailed written critique of the sampling and inspection methodologies applied to assess the compliance of the cargo quality with the contract specification. He also supported lawyers in designing case strategies, and gave verbal evidence at arbitration hearings on four separate occasions.

Education

Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 1983 Degree: Ph.D. Subject: New Product Development in the UK Trout Industry Institution: Aston University, UK
Year: 1979 Degree: M.Sc. Subject: Food Science Institution: Leeds University, UK
Year: 1978 Degree: B.Sc. Subject: Environmental Health Institution: Aston University

Work History

Years Employer Title Department Responsibilities
Years: 1993 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Managing Director Department: Responsibilities: Expert is the Managing Director of a food and fisheries consultancy company incorporated and based in Portugal. He is experienced in project identification, preparation of project proposals and project management.
Years: 1988 to 1992 Employer: Overseas Development Administration, UK Title: Fish technology and Marketing Advisor to Alexandria University, Egypt Department: Responsibilities: With the head of the Food Industry Department, he was responsible for the creation of the Alexandria Fish Technology Centre in Egypt, specialising in training and research in post-harvest fisheries. He devised and marketed a new post-graduate diploma course, implemented academic/technical staff training, and installed and commissioned pilot plant and laboratory equipment.
Years: 1986 to 1988 Employer: Overseas Development Administration, UK Title: Quality Control Specialist to Instituto Nacional de Pesca Department: Responsibilities: While working exclusively in the Spanish language, Expert undertook a detailed review of fish quality control in Ecuador. He identified opportunities for improvements in fish quality standards required for export markets and implemented improvements to national sampling and health certification systems, particularly for shrimp and canned tuna products.
Years: 1982 to 1986 Employer: Sheffield City Polytechnic Title: Lecturer in Food Marketing Department: Responsibilities: He lectured on food processing and marketing to degree and masters students. He also did research, wrote publications in food marketing and product development, and edited papers for publication in Journal of Food Marketing. He organised an international conference on marketing in the food chain.
Years: 1979 to 1982 Employer: Shearwater Seafoods Title: Product Development Technologist Department: Responsibilities: Expert developed a marketing strategy and business plan for new trout products. He undertook technological development of smoked and controlled atmosphere packed trout for sale in Marks and Spencer; developed recipe and process for smoked trout paté using waste fish reclaimed with Baader deboning machinery; designed and implemented market surveys (attitudinal and quantitative) on trout products; organised and monitored test market; undertook shelf-life tests; and introduced a quality control system for the new products.
Years: 1974 to 1978 Employer: East Yorkshire Borough Council Title: Environmental Health Officer Department: Responsibilities: He was responsible for enforcing food legislation and meat inspection in a local slaughterhouse. Expert advised and assisted food retailers, caterers and processors in food safety and hygiene and certified fishery products (live crustacea) for export.

Government Experience

Years Agency Role Description
Years: 1993 to Present Agency: Various Role: Consultant Description: Expert has worked with various government agencies around the world including Ecuador, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Yemen, Turkey, Seychelles, Latvia, Vietnam, Anguilla, Lithuania, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Azores, and the Republic of Bulgaria.

International Experience

Years Country / Region Summary
Years: 2000 to 2001 Country / Region: United Arab Emirates Summary: Expert provided technical assistance on meeting EU residue monitoring conditions for fishery products. He advised the Government of the UAE on preparation and implementation of an official control system for veterinary medicines in aquaculture; assisted in the preparation of residue monitoring plan in accordance with EU Directive 96/23/EC; and advised on laboratory systems and preparation of an annual residue monitoring report.
Years: 2000 to 2001 Country / Region: European Union Countries Summary: He is involved with the development of seafood quality implementation capacity in ACP countries. He will co-ordinate the project inputs and prepare a report presenting the implementation options of a regional approach for sanitary and quality control of fishery products based on a substantial desk analysis of the present situation. Expert will also be making visits to relevant Commissions Services, FAO headquarters in Rome, and to a number of EU donor agencies active in the field of sanitary control in ACP countries to gather information.
Years: 1999 to 2000 Country / Region: Lithuania Summary: Support for European Integration. Expert provided technical assistance to the Ministries of Agriculture and Environment in the harmonisation of fisheries legislation with the CFP. He also advised on legislation and administrative systems to support Producer Organisations and designed an approach to delivery of future structural assistance under SAPARD and the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG).
Years: 1999 to 1999 Country / Region: Turkey Summary: Expert was the team leader of a mission to advise the Government of Turkey on measures to meet EU requirements for safety of fishery products and bivalve molluscs in line with EU Directives. He reviewed legislation, organisation of competent authority, and operation of inspection and control systems. Specific recommendations were made for strengthening control of veterinary medicines in aquaculture products, residue monitoring programme, accreditation of food control laboratories in accordance with EN45000, and training programmes for inspectors and industry.
Years: 1998 to 1998 Country / Region: Vietnam Summary: As part of the DANIDA Seafood quality improvement project, Expert advised the Ministry of Fisheries on a comprehensive revision of the legislative framework for control of safety of fishery products. He developed legislation for new approval procedures for all fisheries enterprises based on compliance with food safety requirements. While working with a local consultant, he developed specifications for food safety conditions of production and marketing, using a hazards-based approach. Particular emphasis was placed on meeting international (EU and US FDA) requirements for HACCP, and for control of the trematode hazard in fresh water fish.

Career Accomplishments

Associations / Societies
Expert is a member of International Institute of Fisheries Economics, a Trade Member of the International Association of Fish Inspectors, and a member of the European Food Law Association.
Awards / Recognition
Expert is a Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (UK).
Publications and Patents Summary
He has written numerous reports and studies for the European Union and Governments around the world.

Additional Experience

Expert Witness Experience
Expert was an expert witness in the UK and Hong Kong in cases relating to damaged fish cargoes. He has also been involved with the preparation of reports and has provided advice on case strategy and presentation of verbal evidence.
Training / Seminars
He has four years experience of lecturing (UK) at degree and post-graduate level.

He has delivered numerous in-service training courses for fish industry staff and inspectors in the filed of HACCP and regulatory requirements.
Other Relevant Experience
Expert has extensive experience in delivering organizational and technical developments across cultural boundaries. He is able to work without supervision in a wide variety of cultural environments on a global basis.

Language Skills

Language Proficiency
Spanish Expert can speak, read, and write Spanish. He is able to work in the Spanish language and write full and accurate reports in Spanish.
Portuguese He can speak, read, and write Portuguese. He has good abilities in the language.
Arabic Expert can speak and read Arabic. He is able to communicate on a basic level particulary when using fishing terms and words.

Fields of Expertise

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