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ASEAN nations discuss standards for shrimp

CAMBODIAN officials have joined discussions with the ASEAN Shrimp Alliance (ASA) in Bangkok this week, in a bid to establish production standards in the region.

“We have sent our officials to join a meeting to discuss the raising of shrimp to meet export demands,” said Nao Thuok, director general of the Department of Fisheries Administration at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on Tuesday.

It is hoped that shrimp can reach quality standards needed to increase exports into the United States and European Union countries, officials said. According to Nao Thouk Cambodia currently exports “very little” shrimp to foreign markets.

Data from the Agriculture Ministry show that Cambodia currently has around 40 saltwater fish-raising communities producing 40,000 tonnes of fish and shrimp per year.

Together Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand produce approximately 1 million tonnes of shrimp, which accounts for about half of global production.

According to the Bangkok Post, the Thai meeting discussed a draft policy called ASEAN Shrimp GAP (Good Agriculture Practice).

The policy will cover four areas: shrimp quality and sanitation, animal health and welfare, the environment, and the economic and social impact on producing countries.

Nanthiya Unprasert, of the Thai Fisheries Department, told the Bangkok Post that top officials would discuss the final draft in Brunei before the proposals are submitted to a ministerial meeting late this year in Cambodia.

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