Shrimp farming. (Photo: MARD)
New diseases strike shrimp farms
Wednesday, July 25, 2012, 03:20 (GMT + 9)
In southern provinces shrimp harvests are being struck by outbreaks of diseases, an issue that comes on top of low prices and falling demand from export markets.
Diseases killing shrimp in Tra Vinh, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau and Soc Trang provinces, among others, include hepatopancreas caseation disease and "marine ich" or white spot disease, probably caused by environmental changes in the summer season, according to the Directorate of Fisheries.
More than 13,000ha of shrimp ponds in Soc Trang -- over 40 per cent of the total area -- were destroyed while Tra Vinh suffered a loss of 10,000ha of shrimp. About 10,000 shrimp in 7,000ha of shrimp ponds in Bac Lieu province were also killed by the diseases, the directorate informed, VNS reports.
A report by the Bac Lieu Department of Agriculture and Rural Development states that local authorities in the affected provinces were offering assistance to shrimp farmers to pour chlorine over lakes and ponds to kill the disease-causing germs.
In addition, the government is planning to provide shrimp farmers with financial support. One plan is to use VND 39 billion (USD 1.8 million) to help Bac Lieu's shrimp farmers.
Farmers are also facing ferocious price competition from foreign countries: Shrimp imports as high as 400 tonnes a day are entering Bac Lieu province from Thailand. Moreover, Thai shrimp is being sold there at a price 40 per cent lower than that of domestically raised shrimp, reads the report by the Bac Lieu Department.
Tiger prawns (Penaeus monodon) offered by Thailand are going for USD 1 a kg less than the same prawn grown in Ca Mau and Kien Giang.
The Directorate of Fisheries said the low worldwide demand for shrimp caused by the economic downturn has put the local shrimp export sector in a difficult position.
Au Vung seafood export company said it was having trouble selling its product Japan, a market which used to account for over 20 per cent of the company's total annual sales overseas.
This is largely because Japan has been implementing stricter measures to keep antibiotic residues from entering its food supply. This has made it very difficult for Vietnamese shrimp to penetrate the Japanese market because of the technical barriers applied by management agencies against residues of trifluralin, enrofloxacin, and ethoxyquin, VietNamNet Bridge reports.
The company also informed that the price of locally grown shrimp was currently going down so as to meet the market.
- Tighter restrictions by Japanese authorities could harm shrimp exporters
By Natalia Real