Vietnam looks to white leg shrimp
Vietnamese farmers continue to move away from raising black tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) and toward the cheaper white leg, or Pacific white, shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei), according to Pham Nam Duong, deputy director of the Tra Vinh Department for Agriculture and Rural Development.
White shrimp is less expensive to raise and grows faster but carry a greater risk of disease. Increasing profits to combat the global economic slump is the main reason for the switch.
The potential to make more money from the white shrimp has prompted farmers to move from Vietnam's central region to non-program farming areas such as the Cuu Long River Delta.
Lam Minh, head of the Duyen Hai Agriculture and Rural Development Sub-department, said shrimp originating from hatcheries in the central region are now being raised in the Cuu Long River Delta.
However, the potential for epidemics such as Taura disease is greater, although regulators try to ensure that intensive white shrimp farming is carried out in program areas to avoid the spread of diseases.
Controlling farmers who do not maintain the highest standards will be difficult, said Pham Nam Duong. There are, he added, regulations and penalties in place to curb the use of poor irrigation systems and haphazard farming methods, but enforcement isn't easy for authorities.