Weather Dampens North Vietnam Fish Farms
Cold weather that lingered in North Vietnamese provinces the past couple months has caused a reported loss of more than U.S.$9 million to the region's fish farms, according to the Agriculture Department. Hai Phong, with its previously reported loss of U.S.$2.4 million, has been increased to U.S.$4 million.
According to Le Vien Chi, the vice head of the Agriculture Department, the species most affected are pangasius, perch and flying fish. In the three Northern provinces of Ha Tay, Bac Giang and Hung Yen, most perch and white flying fish, which account for 30 to 50 percent of the region's seafood production, have perished. Those surviving cold weather are either unfit or too weak to reproduce.
Nguyen Van Gioi, Thai Nguyen's Seafood Center Director, offered solutions in the purchase of additional breeding stocks to avoid declining fish production in the coming years. Nguyen suggested acquiring the brood stock from the Seafood Center, Southern provinces or imports from China. However, the quality of China's breeding stock is questionable since parts of the country also have had extremely cold weather.
Responding to Nguyen's statement, Le Vien Chi said that legal imports are possible to control but illegal smuggling would be hard to monitor. Le Vien Chi added that his department was arranging U.S.$4.5 million in financial assistance for purchase of brood stock, but admitted it may take time to distribute.
Le Vien Chi commented that fish farmers have to be more organized in the future to have a stronger global competitive position. At the same time, working with other fish farmers in the area may help each other deal with similar disasters.