Fishery Sector: Strict Disease Control Is Required in Order to Meet the New Period's Targets (05-05-2021)

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development held a conference on the prevention and control of aquatic diseases in the North in 2021 on March 19 in Hanoi. The conference focused on exploring strategies and solutions for strictly controlling and effectively preventing aquatic diseases in 2021.
Fishery Sector: Strict Disease Control Is Required in Order to Meet the New Period's Targets

Attending the conference were leaders from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Department of Animal Health, the Directorate of Fisheries, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (Vasep), the Department of Quality Management of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (Nafiqad), and Aquaculture Research Institutes (I, II, III); The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Northern provinces / cities, seafood processing and exporting enterprises and reporters and media were present to report the Conference.

Mr. Phung Duc Tien - Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development chaired the Conference.

Mr. Nguyen Van Long, Deputy Director of the Department of Animal Health, stated at the conference that by 2020, the total area of damaged aquaculture will be 46,217 hectares, 1.9 times greater than the same period in 2019 (with a total area loss of 24,297 ha); in addition, approximately 10,274 cages, rafts, rafts, and aquariums will be damaged. Specifically, The damage to brackish water shrimp is approximately 43,340 hectares, accounting for 93.77 percent of the total damaged aquaculture area, 1.94 times higher than the same period in 2019 and accounting for 5.88 percent of the country's total shrimp farming area. The total affected tra fish farming area was 1,426.3 ha (5.76 times greater than the same period in 2019), accounting for 25% of the country’s total Tra fish farming area. The damage to other aquatic species is estimated to be 1,452ha. Dangerous pathogens such as hepatopancreatic necrosis disease, white spot disease, and others, which are still circulating in many farming areas, may invade and cause disease in shrimp. Furthermore, adverse weather and environmental conditions. The Mekong Delta provinces are particularly affected by drought and saline intrusion, which are occurring on a large scale and in the final months of 2020. Floods occurred in five consecutive provinces in the Central region, raising the risk of epidemics and having a significant impact on aquaculture.

However, according to a Department of Animal Health report, the total area of damaged aquaculture in the first three months of 2021 (as of March 15) was more than 1,897 ha, a 61 percent decrease from the same time in 2020. In which case, the damage to brackish water shrimp is nearly 1,713.5 hectares, a 54 percent decrease from the same time in 2020 and accounting for nearly 0.4 percent of total shrimp farming area of ​​the country. The total damaged Tra fish farming area is 125.6ha, a decrease of 47 percent from the same time in 2020, accounting for 20.1 percent of the total tra fish farming area in the region. The loss to other aquatic species is approximately 58ha, which is mostly the agricultural area of some freshwater aquatic species; 58 cages of red tilapia, some marine fish species; and 47 clump, eel tank, and frog.

Speaking at the conference, Mr. Tran Cong Khoi, Deputy Director of Aquaculture Department, Directorate of Fisheries, emphasized that in order to achieve the target of fisheries growth by 2021, localities must work with the Directorate of Fisheries and functional departments to understand the situation, weather, and environment in order to evaluate, modify, and create a seasonal stocking schedule that is appropriate for each locality and ecological area to minimize the damage.

Localities must monitor and warn about the climate and epidemics in key farming areas in order to quickly inform citizens, implement technological solutions, and minimize farmer harm. Localities that have not yet established and approved environmental monitoring plans should advise on construction as soon as possible and send them to competent authorities for approval for implementation.

The locality is responsible for inspecting and controlling the production facility's conditions and the quality of breeds, aquatic feed, items for the care of the aquaculture environment, as well as managing the quality of inputs and controlling the farming conditions to ensure the quality and protection of aquatic food. At the same time, deal firmly with acts of profiteering, market manipulation, trade theft, false information which leads to destabilize production.

Specifically, to promote and provide solutions to help businesses and farmers in organizing output in chains, optimizing production chains to minimize product costs; issuing farm certification (code number); certification of eligibility for establishments manufacturing aquatic feed and goods for aquaculture environment treatment.

Deputy Minister Phung Duc Tien, speaking at the Conference, stressed that biosafety farming is the most important factor deciding the prevention of aquatic diseases.

Furthermore, other factors such as breed, feed, farming process, bio-products, and so on are needed for safe aquaculture, especially bio-products used in aquaculture. As a result, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will direct the Directorate of Fisheries to conduct a review of probiotics in order to prevent farmers from using inefficient items.

Mr. Nguyen Hoai Nam, Deputy Secretary General of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, said at the conference that Vietnam has signed 12 new generation free trade agreements with important partners. and having a very large economic scale has provided a huge advantage for Vietnam's seafood industry, from tariff elimination to establishing a competitive advantage. However, in addition to the benefits of opportunities, the fisheries sector faces numerous obstacles, including technological barriers related to food safety and sanitation, technical requirements, and social responsibility from the industry. The newly developed markets necessitate that the Fisheries industry concentrate on implementing synchronously. Mr. Nam stressed concerns concerning environmental protection, safety, and product quality in particular.

As a result, the fisheries sector requires a strategy and plan to actively develop and establish a supply of raw materials large enough, stable, and secure to meet the requirements of export markets, increase productivity, and capitalize on the benefits obtained from signed Free Trade Agreements to create a competitive advantage for the industry over competitors.

Deputy Minister Phung Duc Tien also said that the fisheries sector has many opportunities as well as many challenges. To date, the fisheries sector has completed synchronously from the legal basis such as the Law and documents directing the implementation of the Fisheries Law 2017. Orientations, strategies, and projects for the development of the sector so far have been completed to facilitate deployment in the future. Furthermore, with 12 new-generation free trade agreements signed and signed, the industry's development room remains very large. Besides that, the deep integration of a team of enterprises from seed production, feed, raw materials, production, processing, and export with modern qualifications and technology generates advantages and growth incentive for industry. However, the fisheries sector is also facing many development problems, such as climate change, drought, and fierce saltwater intrusion. Infrastructure for fisheries is degraded, out of date, and incapable of meeting development needs. Aquaculture is still fragmented, limited, and reliant on antiquated technology. Disease advances have not been strictly regulated, and there have been significant challenges from consumption markets. As a result, the fisheries industry must have synchronized strategies to capitalize on opportunities and solve challenges in order to move to the next level of achieving the set goals.

According to the Vietnam Fisheries Development Strategy to 2030, a vision to 2045 approved by the Prime Minister, seafood exports are expected to hit 14-16 billion USD by 2030. To achieve this aim, a national plan for preventing and combating aquatic animal diseases must be established, as well as a disease-free zone and a healthy raw material processing that meet export standards and serve the domestic market. As a result, the Deputy Minister asked, tight monitoring of epidemics is a top requirement of the fisheries sector in the coming time.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has established a National Plan to prevent and monitor a number of dangerous diseases and diseases in aquaculture in the period 2021-2025, which will be submitted to the Prime Minister for approval. This will serve as a vital legal foundation for provinces and cities in allocating budgets and resources for implementation. On this basis, the provinces will assign resources and form an aquatic veterinary team to control and prevent disease, thus encouraging farmers to follow traditional farming practices. To meet business demands, bio-safe and epidemic-safe breeding areas must meet market requirements.

Le Mai (theo

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