Fisheries Dept must ban imports of Thai shrimps farmers’ body

The Myanmar Shrimp Farming and Production Association has called for a ban on entry of shrimp larvae from Thailand into the country, saying that if imports continue, the Myanmar shrimp species will disappear from the market.

After Myanmar’s freshwater shrimp production declined in 2012, freshwater shrimp larvae from Thailand were brought in and bred with local shrimp species to help support local breeders. Currently, nearly all local freshwater shrimp hatching camps have the capacity to meet the demands of local breeders, according to the Myanmar Shrimp Farming and Production Association.

“Now, we are assured of sufficient supply of shrimp larvae for local fish farmers. But, if we continue to import shrimps from Thailand, the Myanmar shrimp species may disappear from the market. So, the Fisheries Department must scrutinize the import of freshwater shrimps from Thailand,” said U Tin Tun Oo, the secretary of the Myanmar Shrimp Farming and Production Association.

At present, mixed breeding of Thai freshwater shrimps imported in 2012 and local freshwater shrimps is being conducted in local fish farms. So, of the shrimps hatched at local freshwater shrimp farms, at least 20 per cent belong to the Thai shrimp species.

In addition, all Myanmar freshwater shrimp hatcheries are likely to be suspended soon due to lack of demand.

“If the shrimp importers reach out to us, we will let them contact the shrimp association to discuss the shrimp farming issue or the hatching issue,” said U Hla Htay, the deputy head of the Yangon Region Fisheries Department.
Imported Thailand freshwater shrimps sell for K14 per piece, while Myanmar hatched freshwater shrimps fetch K10 per piece.

Of around 200,000 acres of shrimp farms in Myanmar, there are only 20,000 acres of freshwater shrimp farms, while the rest are saltwater farms. Freshwater shrimps are mainly farmed in Twantay, Nyaungdon, Khayan, Htantabin, and Maubin townships. Bago Region has only a few freshwater shrimp farms.

By Aye Yamone(Translated by Hay Mar)