A seminar on sustainable development of freshwater crayfish breeding last week was designed to help local farmers expand their aquaculture farms and resolve their current difficulties.

The Dong Thap provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Vietnam Fisheries Association held the seminar, which noted that the country is the sixth largest on the list of the world's largest crayfish breeding countries and territories, behind China, Bangladesh, India, Thailand and Taiwan.

In 2013, the country had about 12,300 ha under crayfish breeding, including 12,250 ha in the Mekong provinces of Dong Thap, Ben Tre, An Giang, Can Tho and other coastal provinces. The country's total crayfish production in 2013 amounted to 7,000 tonnes.

The Mekong provinces produced 6,028 tonnes of freshwater crayfish last year, including 1,968 tonnes in Ben Tre province; 1,630 tonnes in Dong Thap; 700 tonnes in Bac Lieu; and 391 tonnes in Tra Vinh.

Nguyen Huy Dien, Deputy Chief of the General Department of Aquaculture, said there must be a master plan for development of the aqua-culture section in the Mekong Delta that would lead to sustainable development.

Dien said the areas under crayfish breeding in Vietnam are expected to reach 26,900 ha in 2015 and over 35,000 ha by 2020. This expansion would meet the rising demand of overseas markets for crayfish products.-VNA