As Myanmar’s farmed fish is now allowed for exporting to the European Union, breeders are preparing to follow requirements to ensure Myanmar fishery products meet the regulations of importing countries, including the European Union (EU), according to the Myanmar Fisheries Federation (MFF). To ensure the safety of all food, the European market requires suppliers to have Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Good Aquaculture Practice (GAqP) certificates. Myanmar has only a small number of entrepreneurs who hold those certificates, so, fish breeders are preparing for this.
In a bid to meet EU import standards, fishery products must be produced by only those hatcheries that are compliant with Good Aquaculture Practices (GAqP). MFF is working together with fish farmers, processors and the Fisheries Department under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation, to develop a GAqP system.
“Myanmar is able to export products, such as fish, prawn and crabs to the EU. Yangon supplies freshwater fish and fish farmers in Ayeyawady place their freshwater fish, prawn and soft-shell crabs in the export market. Those products are required to meet the criteria and to comply with regulations of the market”, said U Win Kyaing, secretary of MFF, on 15 May. Regarding the food safety of fishery products, processors can screen their products at ISO accredited laboratories serring under the Fisheries Department.
Earlier, breeders did not understand GAqP. Now, they are acquainted with its regulations, and some breeders are trying to implement GAqP to export their products to more foreign markets. Other businessmen are practising mixed farming, with fish and other livestock, such as broiler chickens and pigs. This kind of farming is rejected by some foreign countries. To penetrate the global market, GAqP is a must for breeders, said Dr. Toe Nanda Tin, vice president of Myanmar Fishery Federation (MFF), speaking to the Global New Light of Myanmar last year.
Earlier, only fish caught in the wild were permitted for export to the EU market. There are more than 120 cold-storage facilities in Myanmar, of which 23 have been permitted to export fish caught in the wild to the EU, and those wild fish are flown into the UK, Italy, France, Cyprus, Netherlands, Sweden, Greece, Belgium and German markets.
There are 480,000 acres of fish and prawn breeding farms across the country. Myanmar exports fishery products to 40 foreign countries, including countries in the European Union, China, Saudi Arabia, the US, Japan, Singapore, and Thailand. In the 2017-2018 FY, some 568,227 tonnes of fishery products, worth US$717.7 million, were exported, according to MFF statistics. Myanmar shipped fishery products worth $533.29 million to foreign countries over the past seven and half months (Oct-May) of current fiscal year 2018-2019, Commerce Ministry data showed.—GNLM (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)