US to lend expertise in shrimp breeding techniques to local producers

Myanmar will collaborate with the U.S. to boost white shrimp production, aiming to penetrate the global market, Dr Sein Maung from the Myanmar Shrimp Association.

The U.S. will share not only breeding techniques but systems covering biosecurity, pond management and hygiene as well as conservation of the natural environment, said Dr Jim Wybam, chairman of Marine Genetics in Hawaii of the United States.

Dr Sein Maung said specific pathogen-free white shrimp breeding and production will soon be started at the Chaungtha breeding camp with the use of techniques provided by the U.S. as a pilot project, with an aim to breed five million shrimp larvae this year.

Dr Sein Maung said that demand for shrimp is steadily increasing in the international market. White shrimp takes up 86 per cent of the world’s fishery market. Local and foreign investment needs to flow into the sector to promote the breeding industry.

Plans are underway to expand the project to Rakhine State and Yangon Region when the Chaungtha camp production is close to full capability.

The SPF white shrimp can grow fast and to a large size, Dr. Sein Maung said.

If the project meets with success, local breeders can go into mass production that will also help reduce the country’s import-export gap, said Dr Kyaw Tun Myint, chair of the Myanmar Shrimp Association.

Myanmar predominantly breeds black tiger, the native species of shrimp, on a commercial scale. However, larvae of the species have been imported from neighboring Thailand.

After Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar in 2008, the number of shrimp breeding camps has been on the decline.

Currently, there are about 200,000 acres of shrimp breeding sites mainly in Ayeyawady Region and Rakhine State.

Last year, the country earned only US$400 million from the export of shrimp, while the export value of shrimp in Thailand and Viet Nam reached over $6 billion.

Source: Global New Light of Myanmar

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