Aquatic seed production: Opportunities and challenges (01-03-2019)

In 2018, for the first time, the Directorate of Fisheries has chaired and organized a signing ceremony of “The Regulation on coordination of brackish water shrimp seed” between a number of key local authorities which produce shrimp seed for farming and the ones nurture commercial shrimp. This is the fundamental step to help control the quality of shrimp seed and be able for traceability. On January 18, 2019, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development organized a Conference to evaluate, conclude gained experience and replicate the implementation of this Regulation.
Aquatic seed production: Opportunities and challenges

Ensuring the quality of aquatic seeds for production is one of the priorities of the agricultural industry. In 2018, the production and supply of key aquatic seeds such as brackish shrimp, tra fish and other species which have economic value basically fulfilled the goal of the year. In the future, seed production in Vietnam has many opportunities to accelerate. However, there are also a lot of challenges to overcome.

2018 - Significant growth

In order to sustainably develop seafood production in accordance with the objectives of restructuring the industry, it is necessary to implement many synchronous solutions, including the production and supply of quality aquatic seeds to farmers. In 2018, we did a good job of developing the plan for seeding for whole year, propagandizing and giving information to farmers, guiding farmers in production, applying advanced technique in farming. Therefore, the supply of a wide variety of aquatic species has been grown positively in general.

Regarding brackish shrimp, there are 2,457 seed production facilities (hatcheries) (about 1,855 hatcheries supply black tiger shrimp seed and other 602 hatcheries supply white leg shrimp seed). The total production is estimated at 120 billion seeds per year. It is basically enough to supply for demands for over 720,000 hectares of farming area nationwide.

Regarding tra fish, with about 230 hatcheries, we can produce over 25 billion juvenile fish every year. There are more than 4,000 households nurturing juvenile fish and fingerlings with an area of about 2,250 hectares, ensuring to supply more than 2.5 billion fingerlings for all farming areas in the country. In 2018, there was an outstanding growth for tra fish industry. The work of replacing broodstock has gradually been improved, the operation of breeding and cultivating commercial tra fish has been fundamentally controlled. The linkage of 3-level production of tra fish has brought initial effectiveness.

At the same time, production of mollusks seeds (clams, Pacific oyster, snail of Babylonia areolata, Lutrariarhynchaena, etc. ), ocean ​​fishes; cold water fish (sturgeon, salmon); giant freshwater prawns and a number of other specialty aquatic species are paid attention to development. It basically meets the farming demand. In 2018, for the first time in the country, enterprises had proactively find new technology of artificial seed production of three sturgeon species, including: Russian sturgeon, Siberian sturgeon and Stelert sturgeon, contributing to active breeding of commercial sturgeon to serve farming demand.

Into the bargain to key farming species, cold water fish and specialty aquatic products have also contributed significantly to production development, meeting domestic market demand, exploiting potential water surface areas, creating jobs and raising up income for people, especially in rural, remote and disadvantaged areas. It contributes to Poverty alleviation and hunger eradication as well as developing new rural construction.


The production of key aquatic breeds has basically met the quantity for demand of farming. A number of scientific and technical achievements in aquatic seed production by artificial methods have been a delightful driving force for the development of seed production activities. The achievements have perfected the seed production technology and methods for producing most key breeding species such as tiger shrimp, white - leg shrimp, giant freshwater shrimp, tra fish, tilapia and some marine fish species. As a result, farming seeds are actively produced.

Particularly for brackish water shrimp production, most of production steps have been specialized, forming concentrated seed production areas. The supply of shrimp seed is well organized by seed production enterprises.  Those enterprises signed contract for supply with farming enterprises and households in farming areas. Currently, the production of shrimp seed is on industrial scale with the company of many big enterprises and enterprises with foreign owned capital. Small investment facilities and enterprises which are not competitive and have inefficient production have shrunk. Most of the shrimp hatcheries have fully complied with regulations on management such as using broodstock which have identified origin,performing perfectly the work of inspection of environment, epidemics control and pay attentionon the interests of farmers. A lot of shrimp seed production enterprises has not only sold farming seeds but also provided technical advices for farmers so they can get good results in farming.

On November 21, 2017, the 14th National Assembly of Vietnam passed the Fisheries Law No. 18/2017 / QH14. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has developed and submitted related documents guiding the Law to the Government for approval. As of January 1, 2019, the Fisheries Law and its guiding documents are effective. Consequently, there will be fundamentally change of management method for aquaculture, including aquatic seed production. Regarding producingand nursing conditions of aquatic seeds, production establishments must be inspected, assessed and granted certificates of qualification for production before producing and nursing. Regarding the quality of farming seed, establishments shall themselves announce their product’s quality and national management agencies shall conduct inspection after that. The time limit of using broodstockof a number of key species has been adjusted to suit the practical practice of production. These strict regulations contribute to make the breed market transparent, limit operation of all establishments that do not meet the requirements.

Furthermore, in the last year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Directorate of Fisheries and local management authorities have been closely paid a lot of attention to the work of putting seed production industry on the right track. Many documents guiding and directing the quality management of aquatic breeds have been issued. The Directorate of Fisheries has cooperated with the Department of Economic Security - Ministry of Public Security of Vietnam and functional organizations to establish inspection teams and conduct inspection work. The site inspection team supervise and guide local management authorities as well as aquatic breed production facilities in the observance of regulations related to managing breed product; detecting and severely giving fineto a number of establishments which violate production and business conditions. The violating information was widely publicized on the website of The Directorate of Fisheries and other press agencies.


Along with opportunities are challenges. The firstchallenge to mention is the unpredictable impact of climate change on seed production. The second one is the quality management of shrimp seed. At this time, over 90% of white leg shrimpbroodstockare imported.  Besides, broodstockof black tiger shrimp depends much on natural fishing. Regarding seed production facilities, in addition to standard and qualified facilities and enterprises which can ensure biosecurity, there are many small ones which are unable to guarantee their production quality. Therefore, there is still a part of shrimp seed qualitynot qualified. In consequence, shrimp seed quality has not been fully managed.

Over the past years, on the one hand, the National Government has invested funds to research and create, propagate and distribute quality broodstock for production. On the other hand, according to the assessment, the quality of breeding animals still has many possible risks. Therefore, in the instructions of the industry management, there is always arequirement to continue research, create and domesticize to ensure that there will be enough quantity of qualified farming seed as approved programs and strategies. In addition, the agricultural industry and local authorities have many mechanisms and policies to encourage and attract enterprises with investment capacity to invest in the field of production and supply aquatic farming seed. Furthermore, the application of high technology, biotechnology in seed production and supply is being promoted...

Nevertheless, in order to achieve the overall success of the industry, farmers need to pay more attention to the work of selecting qualified breeds for farming. This helps to ensure the growth rate, trade weight, harvest time, reduce feed costs and prevent disease, increase economic efficiency. Farmers should choose reputable seed supply facilities and enterprises that can ensure traceability.


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