The Mekong Delta Strives to Achieve Over 990,000 Ha of Aquaculture Area by 2030, With an Output of Over 4,800,000 Tons (22-11-2021)

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development issued Decision No. 3550/QD-BNN-TT on August 12, 2021, approving the Mekong Delta Sustainable Aquaculture Development Project until 2030. As a result, the target is to increase the aquaculture area to over 990,000 ha and the output to over 4,800,000 tons by 2030.
The Mekong Delta Strives to Achieve Over 990,000 Ha of Aquaculture Area by 2030, With an Output of Over 4,800,000 Tons

The overall objective of the Project is to develop aquaculture in the Mekong Delta sustainably, becoming an important contributor to the growth of the agricultural sector and regional socio-economic development.

It is expected that by 2030, the aquaculture area will reach over 990,000 ha (salt water and brackish water culture 740,000 ha, freshwater culture 150,000 ha and 1,260,000 m3 cage culture in rivers). In which, brackish water shrimp reached 720,000 ha; Tra fish reached 7,447 ha; giant freshwater shrimp reached 50,000 ha; tilapia reached 6,350 ha and 1,260,000 m3 of cages. Aquaculture production reached over 4,800,000 tons. In which, brackish water shrimp reached over 1,200,000 tons; Tra fish reached about 2,000,000 tons; giant freshwater shrimp reached over 80,000 tons; tilapia over 175,000 tons; mollusks reached over 250,000 tons and other aquatic species beyond 1,100,000 tons.

All of concentrated aquaculture areas are under control of environment, disease and food safety; reduce the rate of damage caused by some dangerous diseases in brackish water shrimp to less than 10%/year and less than 8%/year for Tra fish. Under the cooperation and chain linkage concept, the area and output of aquaculture generated increased by more than 30%. Over 20% of the aquaculture area has received one of the GAP, organic, or other quality certifications.

In addition, the value of aquaculture is increasing over 4% each year. The value of exports exceeded 9 billion dollars (export value of brackish water shrimp and tra fish reached over 80 percent of export value of the region).

In order to achieve the above goals, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has set out a number of key tasks and solutions as follows:

Freshwater aquaculture areas: riverside and flooded low-lying areas of An Giang, Dong Thap and Long An provinces develop tra fish farming towards modernity associated with environmental protection. Develop specialized farming, intercropping freshwater aquatic species with agricultural production, raising fish in cages on rivers and canals. Develop a freshwater aquatic product production system in Dong Thap and An Giang, with a focus on tra fish.

 Priority should be given to developing specialized farming of freshwater objects or farming in combination with agriculture production in areas with a brief salinity period of less than three months per year. Some districts/towns in 11 provinces/cities, except in An Giang and Ca Mau, need to develop specialized aquaculture, intercropping with freshwater aquatic species; prioritize the development of aquaculture of aquatic species with wide salinity adaptability, such as giant freshwater shrimp, tilapia, goby, and others, in areas bordering on salty and sweet.

Brackish aquaculture areas: (Long An, Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Tra Vinh, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau and Kien Giang provinces): Focus on the development of brackish aquaculture, including black tiger and whiteleg shrimp, crabs, mollusks, and other brackish aquatic species. At the same time, review, assess, and convert the saline-affected agricultural land area to aquaculture using appropriate farming methods such as specialized farming, intercropping, rotation, etc.

Brackish water shrimp (black tiger shrimp, whiteleg shrimp): To develop ecological black tiger shrimp farming in mangroves, organic farming, and rice-shrimp farming in coastal areas, in accordance with the master plan of using land in locality, adapting to climate change, sea level rise and saline intrusion. To boost farmed shrimp productivity, innovative techniques, research, and technology, as well as good environmental management and disease control, are prioritized.

Developing whiteleg shrimp farming in the direction of industry, applying high technology to improve productivity, quality, product value and protect the ecological environment.

Tra fish: To concentrate on developing industrial tra fish farming along the Tien and Hau rivers, as well as other places with ideal conditions for producing high-quality products that meet export market standards. To maintain the environment, avoid diseases, and adapt to climate change, use innovative farming equipment, save water, and save fuel. To satisfy the demands of import markets, increase the percentage of farming land and products certified according to GAP, ASC, BAP, and other quality standards.

Giant freshwater shrimp and other crustaceans: Developing climate-resilient, sustainable farming techniques. In which the upper delta provinces of An Giang, Dong Thap, Long An, and a part of Kien Giang prioritize intensive or semi-intensive agricultural, applying advanced technology, saving water or raising giant freshwater shrimp with intercropping rice. The central provinces including Can Tho, Hau Giang, Vinh Long and part of Tien Giang give priority to the development of giant freshwater shrimp - intercropping rice, giant freshwater shrimp - garden ditch. The coastal provinces including Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, Tra Vinh, Soc Trang, etc that are bordering areas with brackish fresh water, giving priority to the development of freshwater prawn farming - rotational rice, aiming to build large-scale production areas, ensuring to meet export requirements.

To build and develop organic and ecological giant freshwater shirm farming in association with quality certification in key shrimp farming areas, as well as to raise crabs in the direction of specialized farming, in combination with shrimp and mollusks farming, etc. in order to create large, high-value, export-oriented products.

Tilapia: Develop cage culture in rivers and brackish ponds to become a key tilapia production area of the country; establish concentrated tilapia farming areas in brackish water areas in the form of specialized farming, intercropping, or a combination of brackish water shrimp (Ben Tre, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, Kien Giang), producing high-quality, large-volume raw materials for export processing and partly for domestic consumption. To create concentrated tilapia farming applying advanced technology and certification to increase productivity, output, quality, and product value while producing a significant volume of exportable products.

 Mollusks: Develop clam farming in the provinces of Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Tra Vinh, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu, and Ca Mau; oyster farming in Ben Tre and Ca Mau; and blood cockle farming in Ben Tre, Tra Vinh, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, and Kien Giang. According to market demands, prioritize the development of ASC, MSC certified agricultural methods, etc.

Maintain and expand production scale with other aquaculture species such as traditional fish species to supply domestic consumption demand and apply technical standards and regulations to produce under food safety and environmental protection.

In addition, The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has set out a number of tasks and solutions for investment in building infrastructure systems for aquaculture development to adapt to climate change; Developing the system of production and supply of seeds and materials for aquaculture; environmental protection and climate change adaptation; Production organization and management; science and technology, fishery extension, and human resource training; and trade promotion of aquaculture.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development proposes the following units to implement the above tasks and objectives in a synchronous and effective manner: Directorate of Fisheries, Science - Technology and Environment Department, National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department, Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development of provinces and centrally-run cities in the Mekong Delta; Professional associations organize to perform according to their assigned functions and tasks to achieve the goal of striving for sustainable aquaculture development in the Mekong Delta until 2030.

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