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Jan 27, 2021 / 16:24

Vietnam agricultural ministry urges tightening of sturgeons imports

Imported sturgeons without a clear origin and undergoing safety standards pose major risks to the health of customers, environment and local fish farmers.

The Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development (MARD) on January 26 urged provinces and cities to tighten imports of sturgeons.

The move came amid concern of the Vietnam Fisheries Society (VINAFIS) and Lao Cai province Cold Water Fish Association regarding the trade of large amount of sturgeons that do not have clear origins in many cities and local markets.

 Imported sturgeons are closely monitored by Vietnamese authorities. Photo: Thu Ha/PLO.vn

“Imported sturgeons without a clear origin and undergoing safety standards pose major risks to the health of customers, environment and local fish farmers,” said MARD Vice Minister Phung Duc Tien.

Mr. Tien noted imported sturgeons are closely monitored by the Vietnam CITES Management Authority (CITES Vietnam) and other specialized agencies.

A quick test conducted by the MARD on 11 samples of sturgeons taken from Yen So market in Hanoi and Binh Dien market in Ho Chi Minh City revealed eight are not permitted for sale in Vietnam under Decree No.26 providing guidelines for implementation of the Law on Fisheries.

According to Mr. Tien, the MARD has been working with the Ministry of Finance to tighten the import of sturgeons into Vietnam and prevent possible trade fraud activities related to this  aquatic product.

On this issue, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) also requested market watch force and the National Steering Committee against Smuggling, Trade Fraud and Counterfeit Goods (National Steering Committee 389), to enhance supervision against the shipment and sale of sturgeons in the market, aiming to protect lawful rights of customers and fish farmers.

There are currently five species of sturgeon are permitted to import into Vietnam, including Beluga sturgeon (huso huso), Russian sturgeon (Acipenser gueldenstaedtii), Sterlet sturgeon (Acipenser ruthenus), Chinese sturgeon (Acipenser sinensis), and the Serbian sturgeon (Acipenser baerii).

Vietnam’s sturgeon output in 2020 stood at over 3.700 tons in 2020, accounting for 11.5% of the world’s. Recent statistics revealed 25 cities and provinces in Vietnam are involved in the surgeon farming.