Recent mass fish deaths in the central provinces of Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị and Thừa Thiên-Huế have not affected the supply or safety of aquatic exports. — VNA/VNS Photo
HCM CITY – Recent mass fish deaths in the central provinces of Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị and Thừa Thiên-Huế have not affected the supply or safety of aquatic exports, officials said.
The quality of seafood products remains unaffected, the Việt Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said in a press release.
The statement comes as the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department (NAFIQAD) reported that an EU authority on May 24 had sent a notice to EU member nations suggesting they closely control any aquatic products imported from Việt Nam, informing them of the mass fish deaths in the country.
According to the VASEP, provinces from central Đà Nẵng to south-central Bình Định, Khánh Hòa, Phú Yên and Bình Thuận as well as southern Kiên Giang and Cà Mau provide raw materials for businesses that process and export seafood products. Some businesses import materials from other countries for processing.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development confirmed that seafood caught beyond 20-30 nautical miles from the shores of Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị and Thừa Thiên-Huế was safe.
The ministry directed measures to ensure environmental protection and food safety.
Food safety inspection agencies have also increased examinations of fishing activities and seafood samples to ensure they meet domestic and international food safety standards.
The NAFIQAD requested firms not to buy dead fish for processing and export, while taking seafood samples to test for pollutants.
Processing companies and exporters have tightened measures to trace the origin of seafood products.
Seafood exports are forecast to increase in 2016. Tuna and octopus exports are projected to surge by 12 and 10 per cent, respectively. —VNS