June 6, 2016
Vietnamese seafood 'safe and stable' amid fishkill reports
The assurance was made following an EU alert about "the abnormal dead fishes in Vietnam" and which asked member states to tightly control marine product shipments from Vietnam.
While not denying or confirming the reported fishkills in Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue provinces, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Producers and Exporters (Vasep) stressed that in fact, the main fishing grounds supplying raw material for Vietnamese seafood exports include Binh Dinh, Khanh Hoa, Phu Yen and Binh Thuan provinces in south central Vietnam and Kien Giang and Ca Mau in southern Vietnam.
Fishes in those parts, it noted, were caught by large-capacity ships in off-shore fishing grounds. Also, it added, many exporters processed raw materials imported from other countries.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Vasep also said, had confirmed that the off-shore fishing areas (beyond 20-30 miles from shore) in the four provinces where the fishkills were reported, "are safe".
Moreover, seafood processing and exporting establishments "are required absolutely not to purchase dead fish…. So far, along with tight supervision of NAFIQAD (National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department), processors and exporters have seriously implemented the control criteria as well as enhanced traceability measures to ensure stable quality of exported products", Vasep said.
Vasep said Vietnam ranks as the third-largest seafood exporters in the world, accounting for over 5% of the market share.-Rick Alberto