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Fisheries Meeting Global Standards

Biosecurity Sustainability Economics +5 more

VIET NAM - A study into the practices of leading exporters and breeders of the tra fish (pangasius) in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta has shown they are taking extreme care to conform to globally accepted health and hygiene standards.

The Viet Nam News investigation in visiting several ponds and factories in Dong Thap and An Giang – two delta provinces that have the largest and most intensive tra fish farming areas – found that farmers were complying strictly with the Global GAP or SQF 1000 standards.

The Global GAP (Good Agriculture Practices) standard requires seafood products to be produced in a manner that reduces detrimental environmental impacts including the use of chemicals. It also ensures a responsible approach to worker health, safety and welfare.

The SQF 1000 (Safe Quality Food) standard, meanwhile, requires clean ponds, the fish fry to be free of antibiotics, and the fish feed to be hygienic and free of banned antibiotics. It also requires that the fish has been cared for with strict disease protection measures and that details of all farming processes are recorded and maintained.

The surevey found that in Dong Thap Province, nine out of 11 companies that have the capacity to produce seafood for export have either filed applications to acquire the Global GAP certification or have been awarded the certification by Bureau Veritas, Viet Nam News said.

Four of them received the Global GAP certification for their production process products this year, and the remaining five will complete filing their applications early in 2011.

The nine companies have their own farming areas, and the total area devoted to raising under Global GAP standards is 308.4 hectares.

These companies have also co-operated with local farmers by providing them with quality fry, better breeding techniques and harvesting practices, according to Ba.

Breeding tra fish according to Global GAP standards has helped the province's seafood sector produce export products that fetch prices that are 10 to 20 per cent higher, according to Le Hoang Vu, acting director of the Dong Thap Department of Fisheries.