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September 20, 2021, 6:19 pm

White-leg shrimp hatcheries threaten fresh-water areas

(15:24:36 PM 05/07/2014)
(Tinmoitruong.vn) - Despite warnings by concerned agencies, farmers in the southern provinces have been rushing to convert large areas of rice fields and catfish ponds into shrimp ponds, threatening, some say, the biodiversity of their areas.

 

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has sounded the alarm over large-scale farming of white-leg shrimp, a brackish water species, in fresh-water areas.

 

The shrimp hatchery is believed to badly affect the environment and biodiversity, cause subsidence of the earth, salinization and underground water pollution. Farmers have also been warned that the farming in fresh-water areas does not result in optimal productivity, and that epidemics may occur regularly.

 

However, the high profit from white-leg shrimp farming has prompted farmers in Dong Thap and An Giang Provinces to clear their rice fields and catfish ponds to make room for shrimp farming.

 

A report of the Dong Thap provincial department of agriculture and rural development showed that more than 60 hectares of the surface water has turned into white-leg shrimp ponds.

 

In An Giang Province, farmers have begun farming white-leg shrimp in a total area of two hectares in the districts of Chau Phu, Chau Thanh and Phu Tan.

 

MARD once recommended farming shrimp on a small scale in some coastal areas in the Mekong River Delta, where the water environment is suitable to that type of farming. However, farmers have done more than they were told to do: they try to create brackish-water ponds for shrimp by drilling wells to find brackish water sources, then pump the brackish water into fresh-water ponds and add some salt.

 

Huynh Van T in Chau Thanh District and Nguyen Huu T of Chau Phu District have been named as two of the 11 farmers who have the largest shrimp ponds areas (5,000 square meters per household).

 

A farmer in Hong Ngu Commune of Dong Thap Province reportedly sold white-leg shrimp at VND149,000 per kilo after 80 days of farming. The income is many times higher than the income from rice and catfish farming, which explains why farmers continue hatching shrimp, ignoring the local authorities’ instructions.

 

Nguyen Thanh Hong, a senior official of Tam Nong District, said the farming area in the district alone has reached 25 hectares, which is a big threat to the locality, because epidemics may occur, which could leave farmers penniless.

 

Even in Long Phu District of SocTrang Province, which specializes in sugar cane and rice, and where shrimp has never been mentioned in the provincial economic development strategy, farmers have been rushing to farm white-leg shrimp.

 

Farmers there also drill wells to get salt water to farm shrimp. However, they have to do this at night to escape the watch of the local officials.

 

Vuong Binh Thanh, Chair of An Giang Province, has instructed provincial authorities to prohibit the farming of white-leg shrimp in the province, and requested relevant agencies to discuss the solutions to fix the environmental problems caused by the shrimp farming.

Tien Phong
KHÔNG XẢ RÁC BỪA BÃI

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