Pangasius firms fishing for markets hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

Can Tho (VNS/VNA) - The Vietnam Pangasius Association (VPA) will this year focus on improving quality and expanding export markets, its chairman has said.

Speaking at a seminar on "Product quality –  foundation for sustainable development of the pangasius industry" in Can Tho last week, VPA Chairman Duong Nghia Quoc said the association would continue to boost production, develop consumer markets, promote sustainable growth, and actively integrate into the world market.

It would strictly enforce the regulations on fishing and traceability of seafood products and work towards getting the European Union to soon remove its ‘yellow card’ warning for Vietnamese aquatic product exports.

The pangasius processing and export industry has made a breakthrough in all aspects last year, with farming area, output and export revenues all reaching their highest figures ever.

Its export revenues had topped 2.1 billion USD last year, with the US being the largest market followed by China and the EU.

Raw fish output had topped 1.3 million tonnes and they had fetched 30,000-35,000 VND per kilogramme, enabling farmers to earn profits of nearly 50 percent, and many expanded their farming areas.

Vo Hung Dung, permanent deputy chairman of the association, said: "I do not have official statistics for the farming area but it is very large, with many farming up to several hundred hectares." He warned that prices could fall this year.

The industry would face increasing competition from regional countries that had conditions to develop pangasius farming in future.

To develop the industry in a sustainable manner, it was necessary to restrict the mass development of farming areas.

Quoc said farmers had to ensure quality, reasonable prices and environment protection.

Promoting pangasius quality would be done through improving broodstock quality.

The industry would enhance the use of technology to improve product quality and reduce costs.

Dung said the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service had recommended that the Office of the Federal Register should amend the catfish inspection regulations and list Vietnam as a country eligible to export catfish and catfish products to the US.

“This has had a positive impact on the industry.”-VNS/VNA