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Cut Catfish Production to Boost Prices

VIET NAM - Catfish production in Viet Nam should be reduced to cut supply and raise the export value, according to an industry leader.

Ngo Phuoc Hau, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors, said that uncontrolled breeding of catfish had increased so much that fish farmers had to sell at low prices because supply outweighed demand.

And the fish farmers are angry at local processors for paying them low prices.

However, Hau said that catfish companies are being forced to lower their prices by foreign customers, who are capitalising on the production surplus.

The Mekong Delta region is home to 84 catfish processing factories and the region’s catfish output has reached over 1.2 million tons this year.

He told official news agencies that supply in the catfish industry, one of the country’s most lucrative agricultural industries, should be adjusted to a lower level, below demand to help raise catfish prices.

The Southern Institute of Fisheries Economics and Planning said the catfish industry in the Mekong Delta region has yet to be sustainable and is vulnerable to market changes while also potentially detrimental to the environment.