Vietnam, with a coastline of over 3,260 kilometers (km) and more than 3,000 islands and islets scattered offshore, plus up to 2,860 rivers and estuaries, has been geographically endowed with ideal conditions for the thriving fishery sector which currently exists.

Great potential of fishery sector in Vietnam is embedded in water bodies of 1.700.000 ha in which 811.700 ha freshwater, 635.400 ha brackish waters and 125.700 ha coves and 300.000 - 400.000 ha wetland areas might be employed for aquaculture development.

The Mekong River Delta in the south and the Red River Delta in the north have been used for wild catch fishing as well as extensive fish farming.

Shrimp and pangasius mostly farmed in the Mekong River Delta, in which, shrimp farmes located in coastal provinces such as Tra Vinh, Bac Lieu, Soc Trang, Ca Mau, Kien Giang, Ben Tre..

Pangasius farming is developing in many provinces in Mekong River Delta such as Can Tho, Vinh Long, Tien Giang, An Giang, Dong Thap, Soc Trang, Hau Giang, Tra Vinh....

Production in the fishery sector grew at an average rate of 7.05% from 1991 to 2000, and 10% from 2001 to now. Vietnamese fisheries production increased steadily YoY. Aquaculture output tent to sharply rise while capture ouput tend to slow down. In 2023, aquaculture occupied 59%, fishing output occupied 41%. From 2018-2023, ratio of fishing output has decreased from 46% to 41% of total fishery production in Vietnam. In 2023, total aquaculture area was 5.408 million tons, up 3.5%; total fishing output was 3.861 million tons, equal to 2022.

19,000 hectares of shrimp farming in Ca Mau certified with international standards

( Shrimp farming model is directed towards ecological roles of natural products with no drugs and chemicals used, costs reduction, records the highest profit of up to 80 million VND/hectar/year.

19000 hectares of shrimp farming in Ca Mau certified with international standards

19,000 hectares of wild shrimp certified with international standards

Ca Mau province has about 80 large and small estuaries, forming large tidal flats; this also creates convenience in providing water for coastal areas, especially the surrounding mangrove areas. These are ideal conditions for the development of shrimp farming - forests.

Ca Mau is also the province with the largest mangrove forest area in the country of more than 80,000 hectares. Currently, there are more than 27,500 hectares of shrimp farming under the forest canopy, of which more than 19,000 hectares are certified according to international standards (Naturland, EU Organic, Canada Organic, Selva Shrimp, ASC, BAP, ...).

This shrimp product is favoured and highly evaluated. In addition to the main product - black tiger shrimp, the households also have additional income from crabs, fish, blood cockles, etc.

According to the Agriculture industry’s assessment, the model of shrimp-forest combination is a model of natural ecological farming without the use of drugs and chemicals, reducing costs and actively contributing to forest protection and development.

Mr. Pham Thanh Trung - a member of Dong Phat Dat ecological shrimp farming cooperative, said that with each 6 hectares of shrimp farming under the forest canopy, his family records annual revenue from 50-70 million VND/ha. In addition, there are additional sources of income from crabs and fish.

"The special feature of shrimp farming under the forest canopy is that it requires little care and does not use chemical fertilizers, so there are almost no diseases on shrimp" said Mr. Trung.

Farmers benefit from the forest shrimp model

Shrimp - forest products certified according to international standards will be purchased by businesses at a price of about 5-10% higher than traditional products.

For certified shrimp and forest areas, participating businesses will support farmers to pay for high quality seed and forest environmental services from 250,000-500,000 hectares/year.

In Ngoc Hien district, the shrimp - ecological forest project of Minh Phu Shrimp-Forest Chain Social Joint Stock Company is a bright spot. The project is implemented in 3 communes Vien An Dong, Vien An and Dat Mui on an area of ​​​​nearly 10,000 hectares with more than 2,000 households.

As a household participating in the ecological shrimp project under the forest canopy for more than 2 years, Mr. Ngo Thanh Hien, from Vien An commune, excitedly said: "My family has more than 4 hectares of shrimp farming land. Thanks to the application of this model of shrimp farming, the price of shrimp is always higher than the market price. Currently, the family's income from more than 4 hectares of land is about 120-130 million VND/year, so life is relatively stable. .

In order to be certified for organic shrimp farming, farmers must adhere to the guidelines recommended by the professional industry on management and protection of mangroves; protection of wild animals in the Red List; input management, breeding stock, waste management,...

Farmers must record all activities related to shrimp farming (improvement, elimination of trashfish, stocking, harvesting, ...) and other activities (raising livestock, poultry, cultivation, etc.) into the diary. All documents and records must be kept in accordance with regulations for a period of 5 years (contract, farm diary, purchase invoice, etc.).

Regarding the development of the shrimp-forest combination model, Mr. Phan Hoang Vu - Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Ca Mau province informed that the locality will enhance technology transfer and application, and promote the replication of the farming model effectively; encourage the application of new and environmentally friendly farming techniques. The agricultural sector also reorganized production in the direction of forming large-scale, concentrated farming areas associated with preservation, processing and consumption in chains.

In 2021, the total shrimp farming area of ​​Ca Mau province reached 279,648 hectares. In which, intensive and super-intensive shrimp farming area accounted for 7,927 hectares (the super-intensive shrimp farming area in particular accounted for 3,683 ha); improved extensive shrimp farming of 163,170 hectares; shrimp - rice of about 37,149 hectares; shrimp - forest over 80,0000 hectares; Integrated extensive farming (crabs, fish, cockles…) is about 45,825 hectares. Farmed shrimp output was 205,290 tons, reaching 95.5% of the plan, up 2.5% over the same period last year.

Compiled by My Hanh