ASEAN Nations Are Discussing Standards for Shrimp

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
19 May 2010, at 1:00am

ASIA - Representatives from ASEAN nations have been meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, this week to discuss the development of international standards for shrimp.

Cambodian officials have joined discussions with the ASEAN Shrimp Alliance (ASA) in Bangkok this week, in a bid to establish production standards in the region, reports Phnom Penh Post.

Nao Thuok, director general of the Department of Fisheries Administration at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said: "We have sent our officials to join a meeting to discuss the raising of shrimp to meet export demands."

It is hoped that shrimp can reach quality standards needed to increase exports into the United States and European Union countries, officials said. According to Nao Thouk, Cambodia currently exports "very little" shrimp to foreign markets.

Data from the Agriculture Ministry show that Cambodia currently has around 40 saltwater fish-raising communities producing 40,000 tonnes of fish and shrimp per year.

Together Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand produce approximately one million tonnes of shrimp, which accounts for about half of global production.

Citing Bangkok Post, Phnom Penh Post reports that the Thai meeting discussed a draft policy called ASEAN Shrimp GAP (Good Agriculture Practice). The policy will cover four areas: shrimp quality and sanitation, animal health and welfare, the environment, and the economic and social impact on producing countries.

Nanthiya Unprasert, of the Thai Fisheries Department, told Bangkok Post that top officials would discuss the final draft in Brunei before the proposals are submitted to a ministerial meeting late this year in Cambodia.