Monitoring environment is critical factor for development of fisheries (12-12-2018)

In recent years, aquaculture, processing and export of seafood products have become the economic strength of the Mekong Delta region, a key area for aquaculture for consumption and export of the whole country.
Monitoring environment is critical factor for development of fisheries

Regular monitoring of water supply into farming areas has an important meaning to serve the effectiveness of the direction of aquaculture production, reduce the risk of diseases, ensure sustainable development ...

Key stage

In recent years, aquaculture in the Mekong Delta has had a strong development, achieving great achievements. Thereby, aquaculture contributes to poverty reduction, income generation and creating jobs for a part of labor, contributing positively to the economy. In addition to important achievements, the region's aquaculture is also facing with some problems of environment and diseases. Mr. Pham Truong Yen, Deputy Director of Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) in Can Tho City, said: Currently the environment of aquaculture is degraded and the situation tends to increase and be difficult to control. Problems of water pollution due to domestic wastewater, agricultural wastewater and industrial wastewater, as well as non-stop development of aquaculture activities have increased aquatic diseases; Climate change has been going on, which affected many aquaculture activities ... Therefore, the environmental monitoring for aquaculture is necessary for timely information and forecast of environmental changes in farming areas and seasons. Thereby, it is for helping farmers take initiative in managing water quality in farming areas, preventing epidemics, towards sustainable development of aquaculture in the region.

In December 2014, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development issued Decision No. 5204/BNN-TCTS approving the project on environmental monitoring for aquaculture in the period 2015-2020. According to the Directorate of Fisheries, in the period 2015-2018, the Directorate of Fisheries cooperates with localities to implement environmental monitoring in aquaculture. As a result, there have been 38 provinces and cities approved the plan to implement environmental monitoring tasks for the direction of aquaculture production. In which, 12 provinces and cities in the Mekong Delta (except Hau Giang) implemented 236 monitoring points, specifically in 93 brackish water shrimp farms; 98 pangasius farms; 2 clam culture sites; 24 tilapia/cage fish farms and 19 other target points. At the same time, the provinces coordinate the implementation of environmental monitoring and disease prevention activities in aquaculture between central, local fisheries management agencies and local farmers. In particular, the provinces have overcome and created a mechanism to coordinate the collection of samples, analysis and return of results (announcing results, warnings and recommending measures to limit the effects of risks) for farmers. The Directorate of Fisheries cooperates with the Research Institutes of Aquaculture I, II and III to organize a short-term training course to improve the capacity of managers to do environmental monitoring in the locality. Along with that, the Directorate of Fisheries issues a manual to guide the environmental monitoring process in aquaculture and builds software for database of environmental monitoring from central to local level.

The monitoring data is reported periodically and monthly to the authorities to gather and systemize into a database to assess environmental developments over time. Since then, the provinces forecast environmental developments to serve the direction of production. This is also an important document to help identify the causes of environmental incidents to facilitate the investigation. According to Le Thi Kieu Trang, Deputy head of Dong Thap Department of Fisheries, regular monitoring of water supply into farming areas not only has important significance in the direction of production and supply of information for farmers but also for transparent production conditions for customers using shrimp and pangasius products of Vietnam. This is also an important source of data for inspection teams of importing countries to assess aquaculture conditions of the provinces.

Enhance monitoring

The monitoring of aquaculture environment in the Mekong Delta was initially implemented fairly synchronously and achieved remarkable results. However, according to the assessment of the Directorate of Fisheries and the Mekong Delta localities, the environmental monitoring of aquaculture has not been paid due attention with low investment, poor human resource training and practical experience. Equipment for monitoring has not been invested in synchronous scale to ensure monitoring activities take place regularly. Human resources for environmental monitoring of local aquaculture are insufficient and less trained. In addition, database software has not been finalized to unify information sharing from central to local levels. At some time, the warning information regime sent to management agencies and farming establishments is still slow, failing to meet the urgent production guidance requirements ...

Mr. Le Hong Phuoc, Director of the Southern Fisheries Monitoring and Disease Center, Research Institute of Aquaculture II, said that the provinces and cities in the Mekong Delta consider expanding the number of monitoring points as well as the monitoring frequency for more timely serving production direction. The monitoring and supervision system needs to be repeated annually on the monitoring area as well as the analytical criteria and monitoring time to be able to assess the trend of environmental and disease factors. In addition, localities consider mobilizing resources of enterprises and large farms to coordinate monitoring in farming areas.

Mr. Lam Phuc Nhan, Can Tho City Fisheries Department, proposed that Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Directorate of Fisheries should agree on monitoring programs between the Central and local authorities to avoid duplication and waste. At the same time, the results should reflect the criteria of the whole region. The Directorate of Fisheries should complete the data storage and electronic information page on environmental monitoring for aquaculture in order for localities to update to report the results promptly to the Directorate. It is recommended that localities agree on the analytical methods so that the analysis results are in the correlation and the localities share the same water source can use the results for reference.

In addition, localities believe that there should be a mechanism to coordinate and share information of water quality and flood, pesticide residues ... among provinces and cities in the region. The Directorate of Fisheries should pay attention to supporting the capacity building for monitoring staff ...

Nhu Nguyet

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