The Mekong Delta fishery sector is making all-out efforts towards the goal of earning 2.3 billion USD from the export of tra fish, one of the key foreign currency earners for the country.

In order to raise the tra fish export value by 28 percent in 2020 compared to 2012, regional provinces will expand the acreage of tra farming ponds to 13,000ha from the current 4,696ha. The extra area, mainly along the Tien and Hau Rivers , is expected to help bring tra output to 1.85 million tonnes.

The three provinces of Dong Thap, An Giang, Ben Tre and Can Tho City are projected to account for 63 percent of tra fish farming area and 64.5 percent of the fish output of the entire region.

The fishery sector will tighten control of the fish breeding process to ensure the sufficient supply of quality fish fry for farmers. At the same time, fish farms are encouraged to adopt internationally-recognised standards such as GAP (Good Agricultural Practice), ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) and MSC CoC (Marine Stewardship Council chain of custody) standards.

Regarding fish processing, more factories will be built in all 13 provinces and cities in the region in order to raise the region’s processing capacity to more than one million tonnes per harvest season.

79 feed factories will also be built with the aim of increasing local supply to 2.7 million tonnes per year by 2020, meeting 60 percent of local demand.

The region is working on the plan for processing and distribution tra fish products along the direction of bringing farmers and processors closer together, reducing risks in terms of prices and market.

In addition, export promotion activities will be increased to tap the potential market in the European Union, the US , Japan , several Asian countries and the Middle East .

The Mekong Delta is the biggest tra fish producing region in the country, with 4,696ha of ponds compared to the nation’s total of 5,600ha.

According to statistics of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP), the fish has been exported to 142 markets worldwide, bringing in more than 1.74 billion USD in 2012.-VNA