|Workers process shrimp for export at Thông Thuận Ltd. in the central province of Ninh Thuận. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam received fewer warnings over residues of banned chemicals or antibiotics in exported shrimp last year, said an agriculture official.
Speaking at a conference on Việt Nam’s shrimp production industry on Friday, Lê Bá Anh, Deputy Director of the Department of Quality Management of Agro-Forestry and Fisheries Products, said that last year, 64 shrimp shipments from Việt Nam were warned by the importing countries’ competent authorities.
A total of 22 loads received warnings relating to phosphate indicators, 21 reported aquatic diseases, nine shipments with micro-organisms, one shipment with heavy metals, and two shipments had problems with labelling.
Eight shipments were warned about banned antibiotics, accounting for 12.5 per cent of total shipments.
The instances were fewer than in 2020, when 10 shipments of shrimp from Việt Nam received warnings about chemicals and antibiotics, accounting for 28.3 per cent of total shipments, the official said.
Regarding monitoring chemical and antibiotic residues in the farming process, in 2021, the department took 1,768 samples of farmed shrimp in 111 concentrated shrimp farming areas to analyse chemical residues and resistance.
Thirteen shrimp samples violated the antibiotic chemical criteria, specifically, Chloramphenicol, Ciprofloxacin, Oxytetracycline, Ormetoprim, Enrofloxacin, SEM, Anh said, adding that the results showed the abuse of banned chemical and antibiotics at some shrimp farming facilities.
Regarding the control of impurities in raw shrimp, last year, authorities conducted 123 inspections in four key shrimp-growing provinces - Cà Mau, Bạc Liêu, Sóc Trăng and Kiên Giang. As a result, 55 establishments were found violating regulations and got fines of nearly VNĐ31 billion.
According to the official, other seafood businesses, such as those exporting pangasius, could learn from the experience of the shrimp industry.
“The experience of shrimp export processing enterprises shows that they often load shrimp products into containers at their establishments, so the control of the packaging process is better. The experience of the shrimp industry should be a lesson for other industries to learn from,” he said.
According to the Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Management Department, up to now, 352 shrimp processing establishments in the country have been appraised and certified to meet all conditions to ensure food safety. They are included in the list of shrimp producers allowed for export to other countries and territories like the EU, China and Korea.
To promote sustainable shrimp exports, Anh suggested that businesses in the export shrimp production and processing chain need to promote the development of farming areas, and increase production to help reduce the cost of raw shrimp.
They should increase investment in processing technology, developing organic and ecological shrimp farming in order to increase the value of the products and protect the environment sustainably.
For localities, it is necessary to effectively implement the programme to monitor the residues of toxic substances in farmed aquatic products including farmed shrimp to promptly detect, warn, trace, and handle thoroughly for farming, production and business establishments that violate regulations on residues of chemicals and antibiotics.
The department will continue to monitor and update the situation of consignments subject to antibiotic chemical warnings to promptly warn businesses and apply appropriate control measures, he said.
Regarding the control of biochemistry and antibiotics, Trần Đình Luân, Director of the Directorate of Fisheries, said that although the number of samples warned was significantly reduced, processing enterprises spent a lot of money to screen and check, which increased the production cost of shrimp for export.
“Farming households and localities also need to accompany, increase clean farming, and jointly support parties in the production-supply chain for sustainable growth,” he said. — VNS