BFAR forecasts expansion of prawn exports to European, US markets

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
21 March 2007, at 12:00am

PHILIPPINES - The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) foresees an immediate doubling of the Philippines prawn export to an estimated $ 190 million with the expansion of shipment in Europe and US of disease-free Pacific vannamei shrimp.

"We can double our export because of vannamei. Vannamei is really the dominant species of Thailand and China for export to Europe and US. We have processing plants accredited by the EU (European Union)," said BFAR executive director Malcolm I. Sarmiento in an interview.

The Philippines exported a total of 18,101 metric tons (MT) of prawn in 2005 valued at $ 93.509 million. This consists of fresh/chilled/frozen prawn, 17,830 MT, $ 91.597 million; prepared and preserved, 28 MT, $ 54,000; and other processed prawn, 243 MT, $ 1.858 million.

The country importing the biggest volume of prawn from the country as of 2005 was Japan, 9,447 MT, $ 48.253 million. Other export destinations were Korea, 3,683 MT, $ 17.533 million; US, 2,691 MT, $ 14.031 million; Guam, 438 MT, $ 2.743 million; Hong Kong, 239 MT, $ 1.276 million.

The Pacific vannamei white shrimp specie had been banned for propagation for several years, and prawn raisers were once only allowed to grow the specie monodon.

Sarmiento said there are 23 tuna processing plants in the country that have accreditation with the EU which also hold the food safety certificate Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP). However, these companies have to obtain permit from BFAR to be able to process and export prawn in addition to tuna.

At present, registered companies exporting prawn to Europe are Boom Marine of Cagayan de Oro, HGR of Bulacan and Anjo Farms of Region 1.

Government has been accrediting hatcheries that will import the breeders from specific pathogen-free (SPF) sources from the US, although BFAR is also making sure the number of production of broodstocks does not exceed the requirement or prices will slump to farmers’ detriment.

Source: The Manila Bulletin Online