Publicly available data is available via research from universities/institutes such as Research Institute for Aquaculture (RIA) 2 and Can Tho University; public reports from International Collaborating Centre for Agriculture and Fisheries Sustainability (ICAFIS) and the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP); various governments’ sources, such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), its Good Aquaculture Practice (VietGAP), and The Vietnam Directorate of Fisheries (DFISH). Regulations concerning aquaculture management and national and local strategies are provided by DFISH and some provincial departments of MARD and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) - as well as through the legal normative documents website (VBQPPL).
Details concerning prohibited and allowable chemicals and drugs and associated Maximum Residue Levels (MRL) were provided by a report by the ASEAN Secretariat and a summary of MARD Circulars provided by VASEP. The presence of these drugs in export products was cross-checked against the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) import alerts and the European Commission’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) portal.
Quantitative and qualitative information on shrimp disease is available through the World Organization for Animal Health - World Animal Health Information System (OIE WAHIS) database and the Network of Aquaculture Centers in Asia Pacific’s (NACA) Quarterly Aquatic Animal Disease (QAAD) reports respectively.
The management of the industry generally relies on a farm-level regulatory approach to management via national and international good aquaculture practices. According to the national government’s Decree No. 59/2005/NĐ-CP, all farmers must hold a business license for aquaculture. Farms should be located according to local aquaculture planning standards and operate according to national aquaculture, veterinary, food safety and environmental protection standards detailed on the licensing procedure and associated registration forms (outlining key criteria including stocking, estimated harvest etc.) is publicly available in Annex 3 of MARD’s Circular No. 23/2014/TT-BNNPTTN (Vbqppl 2017).
The Vietnam Directorate of Fishery (DFISH) is responsible for developing a Master Plan for shrimp production and national technical standards for aquaculture in cooperation with other national and international organizations on multiple issues associated with aquaculture production.
In 2015, MARD issued Decision No. 5528/QĐ-BNN-TCTS on the approval of brackish water shrimp production in the Mekong Delta until 2020, with a vision to 2030. Following this, Ca Mau created plans for 272,000 ha of giant tiger prawn farms by 2020 (10,600 ha of which will be semi-intensive and/or intensive farms) and 41,000 ha of whiteleg shrimp farms (semi-intensive and/or intensive). It has also created planning districts for farming both species (Vbqppl 2017).
MARD has developed an atlas to define specific aquaculture production zones at the provincial level (MARD 2017).
In 2016, MARD introduced a voluntary Circular 14/2016/TT-BNNPTNT outlining procedures to certify an animal disease safety zone/site (Vbqppl 2017). According to this, farming zones need to be registered by the DAH of DARD to be certified disease-free. Currently, there is little evidence of enforcement.
In 2015, MARD released Decision No. 4835/QĐ-BNN-TCTS concerning the voluntary application of VietGAP standards for whiteleg and giant tiger prawn farmers (MARD 2015). According to VietGAP Criteria 1.1.1, farms shall be farms should be sited according to provincial aquaculture master plans.
An Aquaculture Improvement Project (AIP) was trialed in Ca Mau province in 2014 between SFP and Mekong Tomland Co. The AIP aimed to increase the demand for aquaculture improvement programs and a zonal approach to management by informing DARD offices, shrimp clubs and collaborating with World Bank-funded Coastal Sustainable Resource Development project (SFP 2018). It also aimed to embed improvements concerning regional carrying capacity, disease transmission, and environmental impacts, in official, national, and local regulations (SFP 2018).
Water Quality: According to the Law of Environment Protection No. 55/2014/QH13, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) is responsible for carrying capacity studies, identifying water quality and volume limits for discharge water, as well as issuing guidance and corrective measures. At the provincial level, responsibility for these issues belongs to the Provincial People Committee (PPC), who is also required to publish details of water bodies that exceed their carrying capacity as regulated by the National Government’s Decree No. 38/2015/NĐ-CP (Vbqppl 2017).
Health Management: According to MARD’s Circular No. 17/2014/TT-BNNPTNT, the National Department of Animal Health (DAH) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) monitors the national implementation of aquatic health treatment and prevention plans, conducts training, and collaborates with local research institutes (such as RIA 2), universities (including Can Tho University, Nong Lam University), and international organizations (Vbqppl 2017).
MARD also provides advice and assistance in animal health, including forecasting animal disease and zoonotic outbreaks. DFISH also provides guidance on aquaculture planning and produces technical standards and requirements for aquaculture applications. In addition, the PPC and DARD and their lower levels (such as the provincial departments of animal health or aquaculture agencies) are responsible for the environmental and disease monitoring within their province.
Disease Control: DAH in collaboration with DFISH also provide guidance on the control of diseases. The DAH is also responsible for reporting outbreaks of animal disease to MARD as regulated by MARD’s Circular No. 17/2014/TT-BNNPTNT (Vbqppl 2017).
The Vietnam Directorate of Fishery (DFISH) is responsible for developing a Master Plan for Shrimp Production and National Technical Standards for Aquaculture in cooperation with other national and international organizations on multiple issues associated with aquaculture production. MARD has developed an Environmental Master Plan for shrimp production in the Mekong Delta from 2015 (Fistenet 2014).
Water Quality: According to National technical regulation on brackish water shrimp culture farm No. QCVN 02-19:2014/BNNPTNT and Circular 45/2010/TT-BNNPTNT, farmers should monitor the water quality in terms of in pond water and wastewater (Vbqppl 2017). DARD Ca Mau uses information on water quality of waterbodies supplying shrimp production sites (Ca Mau DARD 2017) to produce advice and recommendations regarding shrimp health and environmental management.
Health Management: According to MARD’s Circular 38/2012/TT-BNNPTNT outbreaks of specific disease must be reported. MARD’s Circular No. 17/2014/TT-BNNPTTN provides guidance and procedures for disease prevention, treatment, and reporting. In addition, MARD’s Circular 45/2010/TT-BNNPTNT regulates the conditions of farm establishment to ensure veterinary hygiene (Vbqppl 2017).
Disease Control: The use of chemicals and drugs is regulated under MARD’s Decision 10/2007/QĐ-BTS, which includes a list of approved chemicals (Vbqppl 2017). The competent authorities responsible for the use of 1) chemicals in aquaculture and 2) veterinary drugs are identified - the DAH and the Department/Directorate of Fisheries and the DAH respectively (ASEAN Secretariat 2013).
Ca Mau PPC has published guidance on disease prevention and control. Producers should follow this to proactively monitor and improve the prevention and control of shrimp disease (Ca Mau DAH 2014).
Water Quality: MARDs’ Circular 45/2010/TT-BNNPTNT and National Technical Standards QCVN 02-20:2014/BNNPTNT regulates shrimp production sites to ensure food safety and set in-pond and discharge water quality limits (Vbqppl 2017). MONRE’s Circular 36/2015/TT-BTNMT and the national government’s Decree No. 38/2015/NĐ-CP regulate toxic waste management. Water quality criteria for different types of public waterbodies are also described in MARD’s Circular 45/2010/TT-BNNPTNT (Vbqppl 2017).
VietGAP Criteria. No. 1.1.1, 2.1, 3.4.3 and 4.2.1 outline guidance on in-pond water quality and wastewater quality respectively. VietGAP also requires the farms to comply with the QCVN 02 -19:2014/BNNPTNT - National technical regulation on brackish water shrimp culture farm - Conditions for veterinary hygiene, environmental protection, and food safety, and incorporate limits for shrimp farm effluent established by MARD’s Circular No. 45/2010/TT-BNNPTNT) (Vbqppl 2017).
Health Management: Limits to stocking density are set by MARD’s Circular 45/2010/TT-BNNPTNT. Under criteria 3.1 and 3.5, VietGAP farms must comply with the existing regulations and have a fish health plan written by a fish health specialist or a veterinarian (Vbqppl 2017).
Disease Control: The use of the antibiotics nitrofuran, chloramphenicol, dimetridazole/metronidazole and enrofloxacin; the disinfectant, malachite green, and cypermethrin; the chemotherapeutant, trichlorfon; and the piscicide deltamethrin are prohibited (ASEAN Secretariat 2013). VASEP summarizes multiple MARD Circulars concerning the use of chemicals, antibiotics, and bioproducts - and has produced lists of chemicals and antibiotics banned for use in fishery production and trading and for veterinary use. Restricted chemicals and antibiotics - including maximum residue levels (MRL)s are also identified (VASEP 2014). VietGAP Criteria No. 2.1.2 requires that all farms should use chemicals listed under Circular No. 12/2010/TT-BNNPTNT and incorporates a list of banned chemicals and antibiotics according to MARD’s Circular No. 15/2009/TT-BNN and Circular No. 20/2010/TT-BNNPTNT (Vbqppl 2017).
Government approved drugs, feed, and chemical treatments are available on DFISH’s website (DFISH 2017). However, users of this online database need an account to access information. Under MARD’s Circular No. 04/2016/TT-BNNPTNT in 2016, farmers are required to report disease events such as WSD, Taura Syndrome, YHV, IHHN, IMN, and AHPND (Vbqppl 2017). In addition, MARD provides guidance how to prevent and treat these diseases.
Industry and Management Performance
Due to a lack of information on the number of licensed farms in Ca Mau it is difficult to assess whether farms are in compliance with regulations governing the industry.
Water Quality: There is no information to assess farms compliance with water discharge limits set by MARD’s Circular 45/2010/TT-BNNPTNT.
Health Management: There is no information to assess compliance with veterinary standards set by MARD’s Circular 45/2010/TT-BNNPTNT.
Disease Control: There is no information to assess the use of chemicals and drugs in compliance with MARD’s Decision 10/2007/QĐ-BTS.
Water Quality: According to water quality monitoring reports to the end of 2016, the environment is currently suitable for shrimp production. However, some parameters do not comply with the acceptable limits in some waterbodies. Therefore, it is advised that producers should treat the water before discharge (Ca Mau DARD 2017).
Health Management: WSD and AHPND have been reported in Vietnam by NACA's QAAD reports, with the provinces (including Ca Mau) and the total area affected provided by the epidemiological comments (NACA et al. 2017).
In first nine months of 2016, 360.95 ha of shrimp farms were affected by a disease in Ca Mau in 58 communes and 7 districts/cities, representing 3.66% of the total intensive shrimp farming area (Ca Mau PPC 2016). A national health plan for shrimp was developed by the DAH in 2014; however, it was implemented without the active participation of the industry – and there is no information available on its implementation, other than several disease control courses conducted for staff from provincial aquaculture agencies. In general, only international and VietGAP certified farms are implementing biosecurity measures.
Disease Control: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued an import alert (16-124) over the historical use of unapproved drugs in seafood from various countries (including shrimp from Vietnam) (FDA 2018). For shrimp (from various provinces), these include those listed as prohibited from use in fisheries production or trading in Vietnam; those banned from veterinary use; and, those identified as restricted in use (ASEAN Secretariat 2013)(FDA 2018)(VASEP 2014).
The European Commission’s (EC) Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) also includes multiple recent notifications (from 2015 onwards) of border rejections or information for follow up concerning shrimp from Vietnam. These include notifications concerning the detection of drugs prohibited from use in Vietnam and export destinations (classified as serious by RASFF); those listed as restricted in Vietnam, but not authorized in export countries (classified as undecided); and drugs permitted by Vietnam and importing countries, but above the MRL for export destinations (classified as not serious). It should be noted that the province that the product comes from is not stated (European Commission 2018)
Trends in Performance
Water Quality: A trend towards intensive forms of production increases the risk of pollution through wastewater and sediment discharge. However, intensive systems typically incorporate bio-security and water treatment facilities, especially in the larger farms (which are also more likely to incorporate BAP and GAP standards).
Health Management: Farmers in Vietnam have previously tackled disease outbreaks through the use of prophylactics and chemotherapeutants, which have the potential to adversely impact the environment and overall shrimp quality. Farmers are adopting the use of probiotics and improved management strategies to improve water quality and prevent disease outbreaks (Portley 2016).
Disease Control: According to the E. C’s RASFF portal, from 2008-2014, there were multiple notifications concerning the detection of prohibited veterinary medicines or levels of antibiotics above the MRL in shrimp from Vietnam – although the province of origin is not stated (European Commission 2018).
Aquaculture management plans: Ca Mau province has established a project "Improving the productivity, quality, efficiency and sustainable development of the shrimp sector to 2020, orientation to 2030 in Ca Mau province". The project intends to sustainably develop the local shrimp industry (DFISH 2017).
Water Quality: No information available.
Health Management: In 2017 DARD Ca Mau directed line agencies to improve the prevention and treatment of disease. The farmers should comply with government technical guidance concerning shrimp health management and protection (Ca Mau DARD 2017).
Disease Control: In March 2017, MARD approved Decision No. 1038/QĐ-BNN-TY a National Disease Control Plan for shrimp for 2017 to 2020. Under this, the government and farmers are required to monitor disease and environmental indicators, perform disease checks by spot-sampling and collaborate on disease treatments. In addition, the DAH has issued an Official Dispatch No. 1079/TY-TS asking Mekong Delta provinces to provide a list of producers to join the program. Official Dispatch No. 1079/TY-TS describes disease control, sampling, and health analysis procedures under Annex 2 (Vbqppl 2017).
In 2016, Ca Mau DARD published a list of chemicals, medicines and feed distributors in Ca Mau who did not comply with regulations (e.g. did not possess a quarantine certificate or were distributing banned chemicals). This list was published on their website (Ca Mau DARD 2016).