‘PHL shrimp industry remains dynamic’

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Thursday, July 3, 2014


THE shrimp industry in the Philippines remains dynamic, according to its leaders during the start of the three-day 9th National Shrimp Congress in Bacolod City on Wednesday.

The opening of the event, "Production, Health and Marketing of the Philippine Shrimps", which runs until Friday, was led by Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Director Asis Perez, Philippine Shrimp Industry Inc. (PhilShrimp) president Roberto Gatuslao, and Congress chairman Raoul Flores.

Perez said the country now produces "Vannamei" or the so-called Pacific White or White Shrimp. Before it was Monodon or Black Tiger Shrimp locally known as "lukon."

He pointed out that the Philippines’ total annual aquaculture production is 2.6 million to 2.7 million metric tons a year, of which shrimp production is between 50,000 and 60,000 metric tons.

In 2011, 90 percent of the production was Tiger Shrimp or Sugpo, and then the White Shrimp was introduced in that same year.

Perez added that the P10-billion shrimp industry had an export boom last year closed of 20,000 metric tons. The country exports its Tiger Shrimp to Japan, China, United States and Europe.

"We want to export and feed the world but we also would want shrimps to become a commodity in the country and allow every Filipino to enjoy eating shrimps,” he said.

Perez said they want the industry to produce efficiently, and to maximize opportunities and grow shrimps with sustainability.

"We are investing heavily on the health and marketability of our shrimps thus, BFAR has provided the needed equipment to Negros Prawn Producers Cooperative Analytical and Diagnostic Laboratory to help diagnose shrimp diseases and other services," he said.

The BFAR chief added that they want to build a cadre of professionals, and they have sent personnel to Arizona, Texas to be trained about shrimp diseases.

Flores said only the Philippines has no Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS), a disease wherein an infected shrimp dies in 30 days.

Moreover, Perez said the shrimp industry has nothing to worry with the implementation of the Asean Free Trade Agreement (Afta).

“The tariff being imposed is very low. We have nothing to worry and to fear,” he added.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 03, 2014.

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