Myanmar pushing for higher standard to boost fisheries export

Myanmar pushing for higher standard to boost fisheries export

IN A BID to be more competitive internationally, the country's fisheries industry is finalising guidelines to meet Good Aquaculture Practices (GAqP) standard requirements by next year, as reported by the Myanmar Times.

This would also put the country on par with other member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) that has adopted the GAqP for its fisheries products.

Fisheries department deputy director general U Myint Zin Htoo said it would ensure safety of the products and make it more competitive in the international market, particularly the European Union.

U Myint told Myanmar Times that Asean countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore follow the guidelines.

Last week the department held consultations with fish breeders, experts and officials, including those from the GAqP technical committee from Germany as well as the EU in Yangon.

U Myint said the department is working closely with the German Development Agency to implement the Myanmar Sustainable Aquaculture Programme by 2020.

"The guidelines will focus on food security and safety, which will help boost exports of fishery products. Fishery products that are produced according to the guidelines are more acceptable in international markets,” U Myint said.

To achieve the standards required, the department is working closely with the Myanmar Fisheries Federation.

Myanmar exported more than 54,000 tonnes of fisheries products worth US$712.7 million (RM3 billion) in 2018.

Of the more than 162,000 hectares of aquaculture farms in Myanmar, GAqP certificates have been awarded to eight companies and 49 fish farms on around 4000 hectares.

Myanmar exports fish, prawns and other aquaculture products to more than 40 countries but only about 20 factories and workshops are qualified to export to the EU.

The GAqP are focused on site selection, design and construction, species selection and containment, hygiene and sanitation.

It also look at water usage and management; feed; health, welfare and disease; chemicals and veterinary drugs; harvest and post-harvest management; employees and community; climate change and extreme weather events; and legal compliance and business practices.