|Đồng Tháp Province wants breeding of white-leg shrimp in inland areas curtailed since the saltwater from these farms harm the environment. — VNS Photo sggp.org.vn|
White leg shrimp was traditionally farmed in the sea, but in the last three years many inland farmers, seeing the crustacean offers good profits, have exploited groundwater and added salt to it to farm it.
Some households earn a profit of VNĐ50,000-80,000 per kilogramme, persuading many others to follow suit.
But the farms discharge their salinised water into the environment, causing authorities to worry about its effect on rice cultivation and farming of freshwater species.
Besides, white-leg shrimps are vulnerable to diseases, and the larger the area in which they are farmed, the higher the risk of disease outbreaks.
According to the Government’s master plan for the fisheries industry until 2020, Đồng Tháp is not in the list of localities zoned for white-leg shrimp breeding.
Though authorities have urged farmers not to breed white-leg shrimp in freshwater areas, the creatures are being farmed on around 150ha in Tam Nông District.
Châu Hồng Phúc, deputy chairman of the province People’s Committee, said his administration has instructed the Department of Natural Resources and Environment and other agencies to intensify checks and get tough on violations related to exploiting groundwater to farm the shrimp and instruct breeders to only discharge treated wastewater into the environment.
It has also assigned them to analyse and assess production and profit, and the impacts on the environment and other agricultural production in Tam Nông District.
The local Department of Science and Technology will study the breeding of white-leg shrimp in freshwater areas to assess the adaptability and short- and long-term impacts on agricultural production, the eco-system and bio-diversity.
The administration has also ordered relevant agencies to step up inspection to prevent farmers from expanding the farming areas and urge them to stop farming the shrimp by educating them on the adverse effects. — VNS