The 24th annual meeting of the Governing Council of the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA) opened in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on February 25 with the aim of promoting sustainable aquaculture.

Comprising 18 member countries, NACA is an intergovernmental organisation that seeks to improve rural income, increase food production and foreign exchange earnings and to diversify farm production. The ultimate beneficiaries of NACA activities are farmers and rural communities.

The organisation is con ducting development assistance projects throughout the region while providing support for institutional strengthening, technical exchange and the development of policies for sustainable aquaculture and aquatic resource management.

Addressing the event, Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vu Van Tam highlighted important achievement of the aquaculture sector of Vietnam over the past years.

Notably, the sector produced 2.3 million tonnes of aquatic products in 2012, including 500,000 tonnes of shrimp and 1.19 million tonnes of tra fish, accounting for 55 percent of the country’s total aquatic output, up 6.8 percent over the previous year.

The result brought the country to the third position in Asia-Pacific in terms of farmed aquatic production and one of the world’s 10 largest exporters in the field, he said. Vietnam has also applied updated technology and standards for its aquatic products, he added.

Asia-Pacific is playing an increasingly important role in the world’s fishery sector. During the last decade, aquatic production in the region surged by an average 11.4 percent from 2006-2010. Its demands for aquatic products are also huge at 29 kilogramme per head each year. The region is estimated to consume 30-40 million tonnes of fish per year by 2050.-VNA