By Tahsin Eroglu
Turkish Cypriots hope fish raised in farms in the north will be allowed in 2017 by the Green Line Regulation, which facilitates trade between the two communities.
Head of trade and business development of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) Çiğdem Aksu, told Kibris newspaper that fish farms in the north had been inspected as part of efforts that started in 2010 to include fish raised in farms in the Green Line Regulation.
Fresh fish trade is already allowed by the GLR.
Aksu said internationally accredited overseas laboratories had conducted tests on the fish and the food they ate.
“They informed us a month ago that the tests were clean and that farm fish could be included in the GLR,” the official said.
She added that there was a lot of demand for farm fish in the south and urged the European Commission to make the necessary arrangements quickly.
Aksu expressed hope that farm fish will be included in the GLR in 2017, adding that for farm fish to be traded with the south, the EU must give the chamber the authority to issue permits.
Introduced on May 1, 2004, the GLR lays down special rules concerning goods, services, and persons crossing the line between the areas in which the government of the Republic exercises effective control and the areas in which does not.
In 2015, plastic products were the most traded item, followed by fresh fish, building materials/articles of stone and raw scrap material.
According to GLR statistics, some €680,000 worth of fresh fish were traded in 2015.
EU regulation stipulates that fresh fish must be bought from the licenced boats within 24 hours after being caught.