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Vietnamese Processors Face Imminent Tra Shortage

by Ellen Hardy
20 August 2008, at 1:00am

VIET NAM Experts have warned seafood processing workshops about the imminent shortage of tra fish at the end of the year as a lot of farmers have given up tra farming.

Tra fish supplies are now profuse and farmers are looking for buyers for their oversize fish. However, the situation will be quite different at the end of the year.

As farmers have been incurring big losses as their fish remain unsalable and material prices remain low, a lot of farmers in the Cuu Long River Delta have decided to give up farming after they sell off their remaining fish.

According to the Dong Thap Aquaculture Association, the area of ponds which have been left idle since the fish crop has reached 10-15% of total farming area of the province.

In Chau Thanh district alone, over 30% of households have left ponds idle; some others have narrowed farming scale in order to cut down expenses on feed and breeders.

Phan Van Danh, Chairman of the An Giang Agriculture and Seafood Processing Association, the province that has the highest tra fish output in the Cuu Long River Delta, said that 20-30% of households do not breed fish anymore, and most of the remaining ones are small- and medium-sized. And many of these have scaled back on production.

Danh said that the fish output in An Giang province in the last months of the year will decrease by 20-30%.

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), in the first seven months of the year, tra exports brought the turnover of $750mil, and it is expected that the turnover will reach $1.2bil this year, an increase of $200mil over last year.

Ellen Hardy