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 (Vbqppl 2017). 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 the 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 (Vbqppl 2017). Following this Soc Trang DARD created plans for 27,500 ha of giant tiger prawn farms, (12,000 ha semi-intensive and/or intensive) as well as 19,800 ha of whiteleg shrimp farms (semi-intensive and/or intensive). Under Decision No. 5528/QĐ-BNN-TCTS the Soc Trang government has also defined the planning districts for both species (Vbqppl 2017).
MARD has developed an atlas to define the specific aquaculture production zones (MARD 2017).
According to the voluntary Circular 14/2016/TT-BNNPTNT, farming zones need to be registered by the DAH of DARD to be certified disease-free.
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 should be sited according to provincial aquaculture master plans. In 2016, MARD introduced a voluntary Circular 14/2016/TT-BNNPTNT outlining procedures to certify an animal disease safety zone/site (Vbqppl 2017).
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 provincial departments of animal health and aquaculture agencies of the province) are responsible for the environmental and disease monitoring within their province.
Disease Control: The 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). Soc Trang DARD publicly reports weekly surface water quality data for shrimp production sites (DARD, Soc Trang 2017). DARD uses this data to produce weekly advice and recommendation regarding the shrimp health and environment 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).
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 Soc Trang, 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 weekly environment monitoring reports announced in Oct 2017, current water quality is not suitable for exchanging water as some of the parameters do not comply with the acceptable limits (such as salinity levels, alkalinity and pH, and turbidity). DARD recommends that farmers do not exchange water (DARD, Soc Trang 2017).
Health Management: 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. Soc Trang PPC has publicly announced shrimp disease outbreaks in three districts including My Xuyen, Tran De and Vinh Chau where outbreaks affected over 50% of production areas (around over 15, 500 ha) in 2012 (Trung 2012). However, the type of disease and associated mortalities are not known. WSD and AHPND are reported in Vietnam by NACA's QAAD reports, with the provinces (including Soc Trang) and the total area affected provided by the epidemiological comments (NACA et al. 2017).
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).
In 2017, the Coastal Resources for Sustainable Development (CRSD) project management unit (PMU) convened a workshop to announce their “revision of sustainable master planning of shrimp industry in Soc Trang until 2020 with a vision to 2030”. This will be used to guide future production. However, there is no information regarding the current progress of this initiative.
Water Quality: In March 2017, MARD approved Decision No. 1038/QĐ-BNN-TY a National Disease Control Plan for shrimp for 2017 to 2020 (Vbqppl 2017). 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).
Health Management: DARD in collaboration with the CSRD project will establish and maintain an outbreak reporting program in Soc Trang. Under Soc Trang DARD's Directive No. 198/SNN-CCNTTS, the aquaculture agency, and provincial DAH are collecting disease data.
Disease Control: In March 2017, MARD approved Decision No. 1038/QĐ-BNN-TY a National Disease Control Plan for shrimp for 2017 to 2020 (Vbqppl 2017). 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).
Soc Trang is implementing an agricultural restructuring plan towards higher value- and sustainable agriculture by 2020. Under this, Soc Trang DARD will focus on certification (VietGAP and ASC) and will introduce a traceability system requiring farms to have an individual identification code according to the PPC’s Project No. 04/ĐA-UBND and DARD’s Plan No. 36/KH-SNN (Soc Trang PPC 2016). In addition, Soc Trang DARD will strengthen the links within the shrimp supply chain (Soc Trang PPC 2016).