CAN THO — The Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region is setting up groups specialised in breeding young fish, shrimp, crabs and prawns and even oysters to serve the aquaculture industry.
The Southwest Steering Committee, the region, which is the national hub of fisheries, is carrying out a breeding programme during the next three years.
The groups will meet all the demands for fisheries in freshwater, saltwater and brackish water.
The plan is to, step-by-step, modernise the breeding of acquaculture species and thus help revive the local economy.
The committee says the programme will produce 35 billion breeding prawns, more than 500 million crustaceans, such as crabs of different kinds, more than 11 billion molluscs, such as shellfish and oysters.
It will also produce more than 3.5 billion breeding prawns, 700 million breeding catfish, over 500 million breeding tilapias (a local fish) and more than 12 billion breeding fish of other kinds.
To achieve their aims, Cuu Long Delta provinces will upgrade equipment at aquatic breeding centres.
This means building a freshwater aquatic breeding centre in Cai Be District, Tien Giang Province; three level-one breeding centres in the provinces of Ca Mau, Bac Lieu and Kien Giang – and three level-one centres for freshwater aquatic breeding in the provinces of Can Tho, An Giang and Dong Thap.
In provinces with estuaries, such as Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Bac Lieu and Tra Vinh, mollusc breeding farms will supply the local industry to reduce the exploitation of natural shellfish.
Under the programme, all 13 provinces in the region will build new or improved breeding centres with modern technology to meet local and overseas demands.
The provinces must also improve management quality so that any epidemics can be quickly brought under control. They must also develop their own labels and trademarks.
The provinces must also enhance the quality of their staff by providing more training which can be transferred to other farmers.
At present, the Mekong Delta needs tens of billions of breeding prawns and fish every year, but the 1,500 breeding farms can only meet a small portion of this. — VNS