Localities need to accelerate the sustainable development of key seafood products including shrimp and tra fish, said Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat at a conference to review two years of implementing seafood sector reforms held in the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu on July 13.

The Minister demanded the agricultural sector maintain cultivation areas and shrimp productivity while taking full advantage of shrimp-mangrove and shrimp-rice farming models, saying the move is designed to increase competitive advantages and global market share.

White leg shrimp are encouraged to grow during favourable weather conditions and productivity must be improved at intensive farming areas and advanced intensive farming areas by upgrading irrigation systems, applying advanced farming techniques and providing high-quality breeding shrimp.

Measures to prevent shrimp diseases in must be popularised among famers while hi-tech cultivating models are highly recommended, such as shrimp farming in greenhouses and multi-stage shrimp grow-out systems.

Meanwhile, farmers must follow regulations on breeding commercial tra fish and build value chains in their businesses and production.

The agricultural sector will cooperate with localities to build fishery centres, creating an impetus to form and recover fishery equipment production as well as provide logistics services.

In 2014, aquatic productivity reached 3.6 million tonnes, rising 5.9 percent from the previous year and valued at 188.6 trillion VND (8.8 billion USD). In the first two quarters of this year, 1.8 million tonnes of aquatics animals were cultivated across nearly 1.3 million hectares.

The southern coastal swathe is home to 540,000 hectares of intensive farming and advanced intensive farming, accounting for 88 percent of the total cultivation areas.

Last year, the agricultural sector raked in 1.7 billion USD from exporting 750,000 tonnes of tra fish from 1.1 million tonnes of productivity.

The country has 100 breeding tra fish farms, mostly in Dong Thap, An Giang, Can Tho and Tien Giang. Shrimp has 1,200 breeding stations in the Mekong Delta region, producing 45-50 billion juvenile shrimps every year and making up of 40 percent of the total breeding animals nationwide.-VNA