ShapeShapeauthorShapecrossShapeShapeShapeGrouphamburgerhomeGroupmagnifyShapeShapeShaperssShape

Biotech Boost for Vietnamese Fish

VIET NAM The Vietnamese Government has approved a US $51.6 million bio-technology plan aimed at getting the fisheries sector up to ASEAN standards, said Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Viet Thang.

Fishermen often breed stocks using traditional techniques, but this often leads to weak resistance against disease.

Domestic and foreign enterprises are being encouraged to join the move, said the deputy minister. The ministry would coordinate with relevant sectors to build a legal corridor and study international laws to protect domestic bio-tech products.


*
"In the 2008-10 period, the fisheries sector needs to complete the strategy itinerary to make bio-technology a basic measure in aqua-culture with suitable ecological conditions in every locality"
Deputy Head of Aquaculture Research Institute No.3 Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu

With more than 40 projects, the bio-tech plan is expected to meet 30 percent of demand for disease-resistant fisheries breeds including prawn, tra catfish, green-clawed prawn, African carp, crab and red snappers by 2010; 70 percent by 2015; and 100 percent by 2020.

Thang urged research institutes to send talented scientists on 6-12 month study trips to countries with well developed fisheries bio-technology. Experts should be trained in fisheries bio-technology covered in the plan, he said.

According to Deputy Director of the ministry’s Technology Department Pham Anh Tuan, the fisheries sector has already completed studies in areas including technology on developing breeds, preserving species, boosting quality and managing the environment.

But Tuan said the problem was that the application of bio-technologies had been carried out at laboratories which lacked modern equipment. Fishermen often breed stocks using traditional techniques, but this often leads to weak resistance against disease.

Deputy Head of the Seafood Research Institute Dao Manh Son said each seafood research institute has one lab which carries out many different projects at the same time but these are hindered by a lack of staff.

In the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, there are about 1.1 million ha dedicated to aqua-products, accounting for 55 percent of the country’s breeding area. Nearly all of these aqua-products are exported. Local farmers face a number of problems, such as good crops but cheap prices, good prices but poor crops, lack of successful breeds and outbreaks of disease.

Deputy Head of Aquaculture Research Institute No.3 Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu said provinces of Tay Nguyen (Central Highland) have potential to breed aqua-products, but the current amount of breeds meet only about 40 percent of demand, the remainder are bought from northern provinces and the Cuu Long region.

“In the 2008-10 period, the fisheries sector needs to complete the strategy itinerary to make bio-technology a basic measure in aqua-culture with suitable ecological conditions in every locality,” she said.

Ellen Hardy

Learn more