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Tra fish industry achieves sustainable production standards

On November 21, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council under World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) announced that Vietnam’s tra  fish industry had achieved sustainable production standards in 2012.

According to the Vietnam General Department of Fisheries, this is an important event that will help Vietnam strengthen the Vietnamese pangasius brand and conform to international quality standards in the world and the tra catfish (pagasius) industry will achieve its target of 10 per cent of output.

Processing tra fish for export (Photo: bao Dong Thap)

The country now accounts for more than 90 percent tra fish products in the world. In 2011, the export value of Vietnam's tra fish reached US$1.85 billion, accounting for 1 percent of GDP.

With the certification, Vietnamese pangasius products could enter new markets and protect existing ones since importers and consumers have now paid more attention to quality and social responsibility

Most pangasius farms are located in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, mainly in An Giang, Dong Thap, and Can Tho. The sector is a major provider of employment in these provinces.

More than 90 per cent of world exports of pangasius is sourced from Viet Nam, which exports 650,000 tonnes of catfish annually.

Meanwhile, Vietnam’s fishermen have managed a bumper haul this year because of large quantities of fish in the open ocean and the increased sophistication of fishing boats, said the Department of Fisheries and Resources Protection.

They caught 1.55 million tons of fish in the first nine months, up 4.3 per cent against the same period last year, said the department under the Directorate of Fisheries.

The southern fishing season from April to September accounted for 1.42 million tons.

High-value open ocean, or pelagic, species like mackerel, scad, pomfret and tuna, have appeared in large numbers this year.

Provinces that accounted for large catches were Ca Mau, Kien Giang, Tien Giang, Ba Ria-Vung Tau in the south and Binh Thuan, Binh Dinh, Quang Binh, Nghe An and Thanh Hoa in the central region. They exceeded their seasonal targets by 12-25 per cent.

Vietnam currently has a total of 124,411 fishing boats.

source SGGP, translated by Dan

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