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Risks 0f Massive Catfish Farming Announced

VIETNAM - Officials from the Ministry of Fisheries have not been happy about the sharp increases of catfish exports in the last few years. Experts have warned about the side effects of the uncontrollable growth rate of catfish farming.

Vietnam targeted to export $1bil worth of tra and basa in 2007, and the targeted level, according to experts, is within reach. But what worries the Ministry of Fisheries’ officials is not the export plan, but how to protect the environment in catfish farming areas.

Kjersti Cravningen, Director in charge of Asia of Norway’s Pharmaq, said that the company found Vietnam’s catfish production capability very impressive. From 1997 to 2006, the catfish growing area increased by seven fold, from 1,200 ha to 9,000 ha, while the catfish productivity increased by 36.2 fold, from 22,500 ha to 825,000 tonnes.

Deputy Minister of Fisheries Luong Le Phuong said that catfish farming and processing of Vietnam was a legendary story. Vietnam’s tra and basa are now being exported to 80 countries and territories. The EU consumes 46% of Vietnam’s catfish exports, while Russia 11.3% and the US 9.9%.

However, experts have warned about the risks Vietnam may face while it is busy developing the farming areas at any cost.

Source: VietnamEconomyi