Ca Mau shrimp breeders face shortage of fry

The Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Ca Mau, the country’s biggest prawn producer, is plagued by a shortage of fry for farming due to rising demand.

Nguyen Chi Van, who has a four-hectare prawn farm in Dam Doi District’s Ta An Khuong Dong Commune, said he has made three unfruitful trips to the district market selling juveniles for the current breeding season.

He could only buy 10,000 out of the 60,000 he needed. “In the past, I could always buy enough at the market,” he said. “Some traders asked me to pay a deposit saying they will deliver the shrimp to me a week later.” Many traders too said they have not been able to buy enough fry to sell them to farmers.

The owner of the Ly Vui Shrimp Fry Business in Dam Doi District, said: “Last year I was waiting for customers to buy my shrimp, but this year I do not have enough to sell them.

“Fry farms in Nam Can and Ngoc Hien districts all say they are out of juveniles.” With 260,000ha of shrimp farms, Ca Mau needs around 15 billion fry a year, but its 800 fry farms can only supply half that quantity. The rest has to be bought in other provinces, especially in the central region.

This year only 3.5 billion of fries have been procured so far, according to the province’s Sub-department of Aquaculture. This year, with the price of black tiger prawns rising, many farmers were expanding their farms, sending demand soaring and worsening the shortfall, it said.

Nguyen Cong Quoc, head of the Sub-department’s Breeding Management Division, said: “The shortage of fry has increased their price by 30 per cent year on year, the highest in the last three years.” The price of a locally farmed fry is now VND30-60 and those bought from other provinces cost VND70-80. Quoc said fry are illegally brought into the province, causing a high risk for breeders because they could be carrying diseases.

His agency has difficulty inspecting all the juveniles coming in from outside due to a shortage of personnel. He appealed to the provincial administration to provide more personnel and set up more sites for the inspection, and train farmers in evaluating fry quality.

Source: Vietfish International

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