Farming bivalve molluscs for export favourable in Vietnam hinh anh 1Processing oysters for export at the Gallant Ocean Vietnam Co. Ltd in central Khanh Hoa province (Photo: VNA)

Raising bivalve molluscs for export is currently a promising potential for Vietnam as global markets have a growing appetite for the product and the total domestic farming area could be enlarged, many insiders have said.

Data from the Directorate of Fisheries show that the bivalve mollusc farming area in Vietnam is currently over 150,000 hectares, mostly in coastal provinces of the Red River and Mekong Deltas. The area could theoretically be expanded to more than 200,000 hectares.

Meanwhile, bivalve mollusc exports to nine major foreign markets totalled 80 million USD in 2014, a year-on-year increase of 10.7 percent. In the first half of 2015, the shipments reached 40.21 million USD, hiking 4.6 percent from a year earlier.

Nearly 70 percent of the turnover was from exports to Europe while another 17 percent came from shipments to the US and Japan, demonstrating Vietnam’s huge potential to export the products, especially to choosy destinations.

Major market demand for processed clams has increased by 5-25 percent from 2014 while the appetite for scallops, oysters and mussels have also grown, a big opportunity for Vietnamese exporters, said Le Hang – Deputy Director of the Training and Trade Promotion Centre of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers.

She forecasts overseas shipments of the products will hit 85 million USD this year, up 5 percent from 2014.

However, several challenges remain such as the decrease of bivalve mollusc imports in some European countries like Italy, the UK and Spain (down 15 – 35 percent).

Environmental pollution and unpredictable weather conditions in recent years have also hampered bivalve mollusc farming, according to Nguyen Thi Anh, Director of the Song Tien Trading Co. Ltd based in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang.

Anh said provinces with bivalve mollusc growing areas must take concrete steps to protect the marine environment and support farming techniques to generate high-quality products.

Besides close coordination between farmers and managerial agencies, domestic businesses should form strong connectivity with foreign importers, said Ngo The Anh – a specialist from the Directorate of Fisheries. He suggested authorities issue detailed criteria on farming processes, offer technical training and encourage farming area expansion.-VNA