Influx of illicit Thai carp takes a bite out of Myanmar’s fishing industry

Yangon, June 29 – the influx of illicit carp into Myanmar from neighbouring Thailand is hurting domestic fish farming enterprises, according to the Myanmar Fisheries Federation (MFF).

Approximately 6,000 viss (9,780 kgs) of carp arrives at Yangon’s central fish market everyday through unofficial channels via the Myanmar – Thai border town of Myawady.

“We’ve been hearing of carp being imported through unrecognised conduits from Thailand for a month now. That said, we only received an official report on the matter yesterday. Investigations are currently underway to identify these illegal channels.” said U Win Kyaing, general secretary of the MFF.

Both the Department of Fisheries and MFF for Kayin State will allegedly inform fishery entrepreneurs that arrests, and the pressing of charges, could result from being involved with the trading of illegitimate carp and shrimp imported from Thailand.

“The demand for shrimp domestically has risen, which we, as a nation, can’t meet. The importation of shrimp was permitted after a decline in local production. This permission was given for the legal importation of goods. Permission [to import fish] has not been granted as their isn’t such a domestic demand.” added U Win Kyaing.

Shrimp, frozen chicken and chicken eggs are imported into the country via unofficial channels at times when there is a scarcity of meat and fish within domestic markets, or at times of an appreciation in market prices.

The current price for a viss (1.6kg) of carp, within Yangon’s central fish market, fetches between K1,200-5,000 dependant upon size. But the arrival of illicit carp allows the fish to be sold for K300 cheaper, per viss, than that which is locally farmed, hurting the businesses of domestic fishery entrepreneurs, according to fish farmers.

“With the arrival of this carp into Myanmar from Thailand, should we not know of the consequences it’s having on local fish farms? That’s why we need to inquire as to what difficulties fish and shrimp farmers are experiencing.” said Dr Myint Sein, deputy chair of the Myanmar Freshwater Capture Fisheries Association.

As of 2016, Myanmar boasts nearly 480,000 acres of freshwater fish and shrimp farms, of which half are reportedly used for the farming of carp.

 

Source: Myitmakha Media News Agency

 

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