The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has called on the Tra fish industry to earn between 1.45 to 1.55 billion USD in exports this year against the 2010 revenue of 1.4 billion USD.

The target was announced at a meeting on tra fish in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on January 18 under the chair of MARD Deputy Minister Vu Van Tam.

Other targets include expanding tra fish farming areas in Mekong Delta, the nation’s largest supplier of the fish, by 900 ha to 6,300 ha for a yearly catch of between 1.2 and 1.3 million tonnes and increasing fish fry production up to 2.6 billion fry from 2.4 billion last year.

Fish farmers are urged to register their codes and conditions to make it easy to track product origins.

Dong Thap, An Giang, Ben Tre and Can Tho in the Mekong Delta remain key players in the industry’s development strategy, which emphasises food hygiene and safety and reasonable prices.

The strategy also calls for further expansion of market share abroad and an increase in shipments of value-added products, while also expanding domestic market share.

Last year, the European Union was the largest market for Vietnamese tra fish, accounting for 36 percent of the country’s gross export revenues, followed by the US , Mexico and Russia , which make up 21.6 percent of Vietnam ’s tra fish exports.

The Fisheries Directorate affirmed that fish farms and processing establishments have strictly abided by rules on input product quality, such as feeds and veterinary medicine.

Tra fish processors all have to be recognised as meeting food hygiene and safety standards before gaining licences to conduct shipments to the EU, Japan, China and other markets./.