VIET NAM: Minh Phu Seafood Corporation, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, SGS and the Asian Seafood Improvement Collaborative have commited to bring 20,000 small-scale shrimp farms in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, to a level equivalent to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program’s green Best Choice by 2025.
The commitment will bring together private sector and NGO collaborators to address challenges for small-scale shrimp farmers who make up much of the production in the Mekong Delta.
The collaborators will also work with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace to improve governance and advance comprehensive approaches for sustainable development.
The commitment was announced by Monterey Bay Aquarium executive director Julie Packard; dstinguished statesman at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former US Secretary of State John Kerry; and Henry Hien Phan of Minh Phu Seafood Corporation, at the fifth Our Ocean Conference held in Bali, Indonesia.
“As one of the largest shrimp producers in the world, we recognize the importance of working together to achieve production that can deliver quality, environmental protection and sustainable livelihoods,” stressed Henry Hien Phan.
In his view, this commitment will support these goals for small scale, low impact black tiger shrimp production while ensuring transparency and traceability, and bring market confidence to a new level.
The commitment will address key challenges for small-scale shrimp farmers by significantly scaling up improvement projects, training and tools needed for sustainable production. The collaborators will align sustainability standards, provide funding and technical support for infrastructure or improved farming methods, engage in government outreach, and build capacity through training and education.
The commitment will deliver many benefits to the farmers, the seafood sector and the environment, including improved data and monitoring, adoption of low-impact farming methods and best practice, financial investments, compliance with mangrove protections, governance improvements, improved livelihoods and a pathway toward a sustainable blue economy.
In addition, markets will have improved confidence in the product since these benefits will be verified.
“To overcome the unique challenges of small-scale farming in Southeast Asia will require new approaches and tools,” said Julie Packard.
“The Monterey Bay Aquarium is proud to support this commitment and utilize our standards, tools and guidance to bring 20,000 farms up to a Seafood Watch Green rating. Our commitment illustrates how the private sector can invest in the sustainability of small producers to make measurable changes that support livelihoods, a sustainable blue economy and the health of the ocean,” Packard added.
Vietnam is the second largest global producer of shrimp and this commitment is expected to impact approximately 10 per cent of Vietnam’s production of black tiger shrimp by 2025.