Archive for August, 2010

Brazil will inspect Vietnamese pangasius shipments

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Brazilian authorities’ claims to have found quality problems with Vietnamese tra imports and the consequent ban on said products has led Vietnam’s Agriculture ministry to check the quality of pangasius (tra fish) for export.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) Luong Le Phuong said he was “really worried about the situation” and that he had asked quality control officials to check all pangasius shipments destined for Brazil.

MARD also asked for Vietnam’s commercial counselor and the Brazilian embassy in Vietnam to collaborate in the investigation so tra exports could return to normal.

Each and every fishery shipment, Phuong said, is being supervised according to Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) standards and other screening processes by the quality assurance department, reports Viet Nam Business News.

“Therefore, I think, the claimed problem is groundless for Vietnamese tra fish,” he argued.

Phuong as well as many companies have been worried that the negative publicity would affect other pangasius markets.

Exports to Egypt have steadily dropped since 2007 as a result of a rumour about contamination generated by a local paper. Although the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture later denied the rumor as baseless, it still impacted Vietnamese shipments.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) addressed MARD in mid-August proposing a verification of news that the safety of pangasius shipments had been appraised by Brazilian officials.

Brazilian authorities claim the fish was farmed in an unsafe environment. Furthermore, since tra was cheaper than the white fish raised by Brazilian farmers, consumers prefer tra – which threatens Brazilian farmers and processors.

A delegation from the Brazil Department of Fishery will inspect hygiene and safety of Vietnamese aquacultures and seafood processing plants, VASEP said.
The move came after the Brazil National Council of Fishery Aquaculture and Exploitation (CONEPE) complained that they have lost control over tra fish, the Brazil’s major import from Vietnam.

The Brazilian Agriculture Ministry informed it would lift the ban once the Vietnam imports went through the Importation Threat Analysis programme, according to VASEP.

Brazil is not only a potentially large market for Vietnamese tra, but also considered a gateway to numerous other South American fish markets.

Source: fis

Electronic boarding system to speed-up salmon exports

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
The airline, LAN Cargo, will offer their customers the opportunity to transport products through an electronic mechanism, which will result in not needing any paper documents. 
In addition to streamlining the process of exporting goods, it is estimated that the new e-freight system, driven by the International Air Transportation Association (IATA), will lead to a saving of 7,800 tonnes of paper worldwide. 
The initiative will help to minimise “the bureaucracy that is present in every operation,” said Luis Lhorente, general manager of Newport Cargo, which worked together with Pesquera Los Fiordos to produce the first shipment of salmon using this system. 
The businessman noted that it will “reduce the risk of lost documents, resulting in further optimisation of time” which leads to greater efficiency and lower costs. 
“We are pioneers of this innovative way to operate cargo, being one of the leading promoters and developers of the project in conjunction with IATA,” said Cristian Ureta, the CEO of LAN Cargo. 
“This will result in significant benefits for our customers who will have a more agile and faster service thanks to the simple and efficient processes, demonstrating once again that we are at the forefront of implementing new technologies to deliver the best possible service” he added, reports Aqua
The launch of this new system is said to be crucial for all the authorities, customs, freight forwarders, shippers and airlines. 
Cristian Hozven, director of logistics at Chile AG, explains that the system can not be used in all cases. 
“There must be an understanding between the government authorities of each country, for example, equivalent to the National Fisheries Service (Sernapesca) or the Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG), in order to permit and authorise documents electronically and non-electronically. Many countries require consular certificates of origin, in the case of salmon shipments to the United States, it is timely as it requires certificates. However, massifying the system is still a long way away,” he said. 
In conjunction with the first export of salmon through e-freight, Lhorente said the first shipment was a test, performed with Pesquera Los Fiordos, that went “perfectly fine, as they chose a shipment to a destination that did not require many documents and which the agency was already involved with, which in this case was the National Customs Service being willing to collaborate in the development of this project.” 
The Chilean export sector annually mobilises 58 per cent of its cargo through LAN Cargo. 
In 2009, the company sent some 76,560 tonnes of cargo abroad. 
Currently, Chile is the 27th country to begin dispatching cargo without paper. 
LAN Cargo and the Arturo Merino Benítez Airport in Santiago are the first airline and airport to implement the e-freight system in Latin America. 
IATA e-freight is also operational in Australia, Canada, China, Taipei (China), Denmark, Dubai, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mauritius, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States.
Source: fis

Viet Nam Pangasius products take up 99.9% of the global market share

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Pangasius is among the key strategic products of Viet Nam as indicated in the plan of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Mr. Nguyen Huu Dung, Standing Vice Chairman of Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) confirmed this fact and said that this position would be stable in the coming years. According to many scientists, Viet Nam is able to increase its Pangasius farming area along Tien and Hau rivers by two-fold or three-fold. However, the country should effectively manages the waste water treatment in the Pangasius farming areas.

Pangasius is among the key strategic products of Viet Nam as indicated in the plan of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. It is projected that by 2020, the Pangasius farming area will be around 13,000ha (increasing two-fold from the current area), creating an output of approximately 2 million MT and export value of more than US$2 billion.

Source: Vietnam Seafood Trade Magazines

Government boosts tuna fishing in the state

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Maharashtra state of India is getting all the help from the state government to move ahead with tuna fishing. 

It is fact that tuna fish makes up for nine percent of the fish trade in the world. To get the benefit of tuna fishing Indian state government is all set to encourage fishermen in the state. According to the information the Maharashtra government will soon push a Government resolution (GR) that will help provide better boats, equipment for fishing, further storage and processing.

Minister of State for Fisheries, Bhaskar Jadhav informed that currently state fishermen only venture about 50 miles into the water and our national limit is 200 miles. He added that it is only when they go deeper into the sea that they will find fish like Tuna which have an international demand.

The state government has identified the coastal district of Ratnagiri for conducting a pilot project for fishing the tuna. Fishermen have not been into tuna fishing because their boats are only twenty metres long and not strong enough to go deep into the sea, where the waters are choppy and tides are dangerous.

Central government, presently, provides funds for promoting such activities, the benefits of which have been exploited by coastal states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andaman and Lakshadweep. Jadhav said that the government is willing to help fishermen to make their boats into steel ones and suitable for tuna fishing .


Seafood export growth leads the agriculture

Monday, August 30th, 2010

According to statistics of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, seafood export growth in 5 months was quite high because price increases in some key items.

Report on agricultural activities in five months said the top export markets of Vietnam grow steadily from 15-25%, as Japan increased 17.8%, United States 16.5%, Korea increased to 19.7% in turnover.

As a result, export aquatic five months turnover was 1.62 billion, increasing by 17.3% over the same period last year. With this result, the growth rate leading seafood exporters in agriculture (agricultural products increased 7%, forest products increased 9.5%).

However, the situation of seafood production in 5 months is not so optimistic. Total mining production and new aquaculture reached 1883 thousand tons, down about 1.4% over the same period.

In particular, exploitation of aquatic production in 5 months reached 1011 thousand tons, up 2.1% over the same period the previous year and reached 42.1% compared with the year plan, in which the exploitation of marine products reached amount of 196 thousand tons, up 5.1% over the same period last year. However, aquaculture production in 5 months of the year only reached 872 thousand tons, going down 5.2% over the same period last year and reached 32.9% of the year plan.

Source: VNEconomy

Bankruptcy threatens pangasius farmers in Vietnam

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Numerous tra farmers in the Mekong Delta are near bankruptcy despite rising exports since early 2010 because fish has been selling for less than it costs to raise.

Exporters and seafood processors are still purchasing pangasius for VND 15,500 (USD 0.78) – VND 16,000 (USD 0.81) per kg even though the cost for raising the fish has grown to VND 16,000 (USD 0.81) – VND 16,500 (USD 0.83) per kg.

Farmers have incurred losses for the third year in a row, with many of them therefore leaving their line of work.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), in the meantime, said that tra exports have climbed by 8.23 per cent in the first seven months of the year, VietNamNet Bridge reports.

Vietnam’s seafood export turnover for July was USD 430 million, making its seven-month export value USD 2.45 billion, or 11.6 per cent higher than in 2009.

Lam Minh Chieu, chairman of the An Giang Province People’s Committee, informed that pangasius farmers in An Giang in particular and the Mekong Delta in general have been experiencing a thorny time as they continue to see breeding costs rise and selling prices remain the same.

He told that it takes VND 1.6 billion (USD 80,784) – VND 1.7 billion (USD 85,833) to raise 100 tonnes of tra and each breeder normally breeds several hundred to several thousands of tonnes of the fish.

All the same, the tra exports have continued to boom. Even back when the economic crisis begun in 2008 and many industries were struggling, pangasius exports did not suffer, he pointed out.

Chieu said exporters have not been collaborating on pricing and that importers were thus controlling costs as a result, to the detriment of local breeders.

He said that for the tra sector to develop sustainably, breeding, processing and exporting all must be improved. Mekong Delta provinces have asked the minister for permission to establish a pangasius association that would devise development strategies and production plans and to enlarge export markets.

Currently, the European Union (EU) remains Vietnam’s main seafood export market, with a value of USD 512 million and Japan next at USD 371.6 million.

The association would be set up in the third quarter of this year if the PM approves.

Chieu said the association would help fix existing conundrums and protect farmers. It would work to guarantee proper investment in production methods, boost cooperation between farmers and exporters and enhance quality.

Source: fis

Pacific tuna still in decline

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Scientists at a scientific meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Tuna Commission (WCPFC) held in Tonga last week concluded that bigeye, yellowfin, and skipjack were all being overfished and in decline.

WCPFC will discuss in December a plan to close four areas of international waters in the Pacific region to all fishing. Greenpeace is asking the New Zealand Government to back the plan, already supported by Pacific Island nations and Australia, to make the Pacific’s tuna fisheries sustainable.

Scientists assessing Pacific tuna stocks may thus advise additional measures to safeguard bigeye and yellowfin stocks. Tuna catches in the Pacific last year beat 2008’s record by 70,000 tonnes – with 2.4 million tonnes.

This means that 58 per cent of the planet’s tuna is now being caught in that region, what Greenpeace calls the world’s last relatively healthy tuna fishery.

Although yellowfin stocks are slightly safer, catches continue to fall and figures are indicating that stocks of skipjack tuna, while healthy, are taking a hit from commercial fishing, Radio New Zealand International reports.

Japan and Fiji both are worried about skipjack populations, which have historically been considered the least threatened and supply 55 per cent of the world’s canned tuna. Japan, Fiji and other southern countries are seeing skipjack numbers in their regions drop.


Principal Fisheries Scientist at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Shelton Harley said this is the first time skipjack stocks are suffering from fishing and that, because skipjack is a very important product in Japan’s coastal fishery, it is very significant for that country to be expressing concern. Japan has never before expressed worry about a tuna stock.

This is the sixth consecutive year, he told, with a record high of purse seine catches in the region.

“In the key part of the fishery it looks as though the fishery has reduced the population by about 50 per cent [since the 1970s],” he stated, Radio Australia reports. 

Purse seine fishing is problematic because it takes considerable bycatch of juvenile bigeye and yellowfin, particularly when the vessels use fish aggregating devices (FADs). This has led to temporary bans on FADs.

But it is tricky to say exactly what is happening to the tuna stocks.

“One of the common themes when you are talking about maximum sustainable yield and trying to estimate what it is, normally you can’t estimate what it is until you have gone past it,” Harley explained.

“It is one of the main dilemmas of fisheries management. There is always that concern that when you believe the stock is in a healthy state that you might just be overestimating how healthy it is,” Harley added.

Source: fis

Breakthrough As Bluefin Tuna Spawn In Captivity

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

EU – EU scientists have succeeded in obtaining viable mass eggs from Atlantic bluefin tuna in captivity, using natural means and without any hormonal induction.

If breeding can be developed on a commercial scale, pressure on endangered wild stocks could be significantly relieved. This is the result of the third year of work of SELFDOTT, a research project funded by the European Union to the tune of € 2.98 million and co-ordinated by the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO). The results of the project have been filmed and will be broadcast on 26th August on “Futuris”, the science programme of TV channel Euronews.

Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said “The SELFDOTT project is yet another example of EU funded research contributing to tackling the most important global challenges facing us today. If the results of this research can ultimately be commercialised, it can improve food supplies and contribute to economic growth and employment while also helping to ensure a sustainable management of bluefin tuna.”

According to the IEO researchers, these results show the tuna’s ability to adapt after more than three years of domestication. A total of 10 million eggs were produced in a single day.

Getting naturally spawned eggs from captive individuals represents an important step forward in research on Atlantic bluefin tuna aquaculture, bringing commercial breeding of this species closer. That could contribute to a sustainable management of bluefin tuna.

The SELFDOTT team will now study the embryonic and larval development of these eggs and seek to improve the survival and growth of the juveniles. The project aims also to develop sustainable feeds for bluefin tuna juveniles and to produce a protocol for commercial-scale larval rearing.

Source: TheFishSite News Desk

Seafood exports increase 20%

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010
All items such as catfish, shrimp, tuna and mollusk o exploit othersof Vietnam have recovered strongly after the recession last year.

According to VASEP, in the first four months of 2010, seafood export of the country reached 375,026 tons, valued at 1.268 billion, increasing by 22.1% in volume and 20.1% in value over the same period last year. This increase shows a good signal for the return of seafood after two years  of the world economic crisis.

U.S., Japan and EU markets are three major import markets, accounting for nearly 60% of the total seafood export turnover of Vietnam with the respectively growing rate: 26.3% ($215.754 million) , 21.5% (227.129 million) and 17% (317.403 million).

EU is at the head of importing seafood from Vietnam with the value of $317.403 million and 106.192 tons in value.

However, VASEP considers that this growth is difficult to maintain when the debt crisis in Europe could decrease the confidence of importers. Pessimism from the European market might entail inflation fears and reduce the consumption of people in this area.

Source: VOV

Pangasius export to Russia recovers

Monday, August 23rd, 2010
The management board of Russia Pangasius export informs that after the short interruption in the end of year 2009, Pangasius export to Russia has recovered.

In March and April, businesses exported 12,000 tons of fillet to Russia, reaching $25 million, increasing 4 times in comparison to that of the same period last year. The average price to Russia is $1.75/kg (going up 5% in comparison with that of 2009).
The reason for this increase is after export policy reform, Russia market attracts exporters as the high demand and improved payment.

Source: HNM