Salt water drowns Mekong Delta shrimp industry

By Vietnam Plus   April 1, 2016 | 03:45 pm GMT+7

Increasing salinity in the Mekong Delta has seriously affected aquaculture, especially freshwater shrimp breeding, according to Vietnam's Directorate of Fisheries.

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Photo: Tri Tin

The directorate said about 2,000 hectares of breeding ponds had been contaminated by salt water.

In the first two months of this year, the area dedicated to shrimp farming in the region totaled only 386,000 hectares, including 358,000 hectares of giant tiger prawn and 9,700 hectares of white leg prawn. This is 87 percent and 73 percent respectively of the area under cultivation against the same period last year.

Many aquaculture producers say they had to decline supply contracts due to a shortage of shrimp for processing.

According to Secretary-General of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) Truong Dinh Hoe, farmers have restricted cultivation because of concerns about diseases and water shortages. However, the current increasing export prices should induce them to expand cultivation again, he said.

Vietnamese aquaculture producers and processors are hoping for stronger growth in the next few months when international seafood product fairs are being held, offering Vietnamese firms an opportunity to seek partners and expand the market for their products, Hoe added.

The country is aiming to export $4 billion USD worth of shrimp this year.