China to conserve ornate rock lobsters, stops import from Vietnam

By Thi Ha   November 14, 2023 | 09:20 pm PT
China has amended its wildlife protection laws, prohibiting the catch and consumption of wild ornate rock lobsters (Panulirus ornatus), and so has stopped importing them from Vietnam.

They prohibit catching and trading of ornate rock lobsters and other species on the endangered list, but allow its imports if farmers raising them comply with certain conditions, according to the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Directorate of Fisheries said.

If they are farmed, China requires clear proof of the farming process, including using only second generation (F2) lobsters for breeding and not wild ones.

Importing firms need to get wildlife protection permits from the Bureau of Fisheries.

Entities that raise and export the lobsters to China must register information about their farming facilities.

Ornate rock lobsters at a seafood shop in HCMC. Photo courtesy of Ganhhaisan

Ornate rock lobsters at a seafood shop in HCMC. Photo courtesy of Ganhhaisan

Vietnam exported various kinds of lobsters worth US$76 million to China, its largest market, in the first eight months of this year, down 42% year-on-year.

Ornate rock lobsters are currently sold by farmers for VND1-1.3 million ($41.6-54.1) per kilogram, half the price two months ago and 45% down from a year ago, due to a sharp decrease in both domestic and overseas demand.

The ministry has a project to develop lobster farming and exports by 2025, and targets an output of 3,000 tons per year and exports of $200 million.

The largest lobster farming provinces are Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa and Kien Giang.

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