More cooperatives meet ASC requirements on shrimp farming (Source: VNA)

Soc Trang (VNA) – Up to 30 shrimp farming cooperatives in the Mekong Delta provinces of Soc Trang, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau have achieved the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification on responsible aquaculture.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Vietnam and the Nordic Seafood Group – a Norwegian seafood importer and Soc Trang Seafood JSC have jointly organised training courses to help the cooperatives fulfill the ASC requirements.

Huynh Quoc Tinh from WWF Vietnam said small-scale shrimp farms produce 80 percent of the domestic shrimp output, hence their importance. However, it is difficult for those farms to achieve international standards, which is the reason why WWF Vietnam aims to provide support for the targeted group.

Shrimp farming has helped improve the living conditions of thousands of households in the Mekong Delta region. However, many of them shifted to shrimp farming regardless of unfavourable condition, resulting in low quality, disease infection and negative impacts on the environment, he said.

In order to get the ASC certification, farmers will be required to make basic changes in their practice, from managing the environmental quality, shrimp fry, shrimp food to origin verification.

Hoa Nghia Cooperative in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang is the first one in the province receiving the ASC certification for its 60 hectares of shrimp cultivation.

Director of the cooperative Ngo Thanh Tuan said the recognition will help the cooperative ship its shrimp to the big markets in the world, such as nations in Europe and the Americas.

According to Tuan, the cooperative can produce 600 tonnes of shrimp meeting the ASC standard per year.

Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Luong Minh Quyet said, the recognition is a good signal for the province’s agricultural sector as well as local farmers.

The ASC has so far granted quality certifications to around 3,000 labels and over 500,000 tonnes of products in the world market.-VNA