In 2014, Mekong Delta provinces will enlarge their aquaculture zone to 800,000 ha, up 5,000 ha compared to last year’s size to raise the region’s aquatic products to 2.4 million tonnes, an increase of 400,000 tonnes against last year’s figure.

To reach the goal, the provinces will focus on expanding prawn, freshwater, shrimp and tra fish hatching areas to 690,000 ha as well as promoting the raising of brackish aquarium fish species.

The region plans to upgrade its irrigation system for aquaculture activities, especially the breeding of prawn, intensify the inspection of wastewater treatment in aquaculture areas, and disseminate breeding techniques to local aquaculturists.

Meanwhile, the provinces will deploy food safety management systems and check the origin of aquatic products as required by the world market. Trade promotion and demand forecasting will be boosted while aquaculture certificates will be granted for the region’s farming areas.

They will help their aquaculturists better access loans to improve their aquaculture activities and facilitate processing businesses’ purchase of aquatic products. These localities strive to put an area of 5,500-6,000 ha to tra fish farming, which is expected to raise the output of tra fish to 1.2 million tonnes.

Last year, the region reached 2.2 million tonnes of aquaculture products, equivalent to 92.5 percent of the total output of southern provinces, including 310,000 tonnes of prawn and over 1 million tonnes of tra fish.-VNA