Aina Afanasjeva is new Director of EUROFISH from 1 May 2009 Published: 27 February, 2009
Aina Afanasjeva joins EUROFISH from a position in the European Commission, DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, where since 2005 she has been managing the implementation of EU structural funds programmes in the fisheries sector in different Member States. Before that, for nine years she was Deputy Director of the Latvian fisheries administration.
Among her major tasks were the negotiations on trade in fisheries products, preparation of Latvia’s accession to the EU, as well as representation of national interests in various EU institutions.
Aina Afanasjeva has a long record of international relations (WTO, FAO and the EU) and she was one of the key national representatives contributing to the FAO EASTFISH project and the establishment of its successor, EUROFISH.
Aina Afanasjeva’s educational background is in commodities and trade in food products, the technology of fish products and she has a masters degree in food chemistry.
In Aina Afanasjeva’s view EUROFISH, since its establishment in 2002, has become a well established regional organisation for the post-harvest fisheries and aquaculture sectors, with twelve participating countries across eastern and western Europe, inside the European Community and outside. One of the main challenges for EUROFISH in the coming years, she says, is to take into consideration the interest of all EUROFISH member countries and to meet the expectations of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors in the region with their different needs, especially in facilitating trade relations and ways to get better value for fisheries and aquaculture products, as well as promoting traditional and new fisheries products.
Having experienced the process of bringing her home country into the EU, she sees a strong role for EUROFISH in continuing the work in central and eastern European countries of promoting fish processing and fish farming, of identifying trade and market opportunities, and of assisting industry to adapt to international market, quality, and food safety standards.
Aina Afanasjeva adds, “I am encouraged by the support of EUROFISH member countries and also by the new countries that we look forward to welcoming soon in the Organisation.”