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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: Vietnam catfish threat to fish exports  (อ่าน 2425 ครั้ง)
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« เมื่อ: กุมภาพันธ์ 22, 2007, 10:38:16 AM »

Source: The Monitor  World News    21/02/2007 08:52:10
 

Dorothy Nakaweesi
Vietnam's massive out put of Pangasius catfish, whose white meat is very similar to that of Nile perch, is flooding EU markets and is affecting Uganda's export revenue

 

A glowing catfish from Vietnam is posing stiff competition to Nile perch, Uganda's most successful fish export to the European Union, according to the Fisheries Department.

 

The country's annual earnings from fish exports last year suffered a shortfall of about $7 million (Shs12 billion), due to booming exports of Pangasius hypophthalmus from Vietnam.

 

"Vietnam's massive production of Pangasius species, whose white meat is closely related to the Nile perch, hit the EU market, and it affected our returns," Fisheries Commissioner Dick Nyeko said in an interview with Business Power.

 

Last year, Uganda exported 3,000 tonnes fewer of Nile perch fish fillets to the EU, and earnings slumped by 25 per cent. The country earned Shs244 billion, down from the Shs255 billion earned from the 35,000 tonnes exported the previous year.

 

Mr Nyeko said about 100,000 tonnes of whole fish are harvested annually from Lake Victoria, but only 32,000 tonnes are exported as fillets. What remains is used as by-products or becomes waste. Spain continues to be the main EU market for Nile perch fillets, followed by France and Italy.

 

Regionally Uganda's fish exports go mainly to the DR Congo and Southern Sudan.

 

Overall Nile perch exports to the EU from all of East Africa dropped from 56,000 tonnes in 2004 to 52,000 tonnes in 2005.

 

In that year the price of Nile perch in the EU rose to euros 4.00 (Shs9,600) per kilogramme from euros 3,43 (Shs8,160). This is still far below the record level of euros 5.00 per kilogramme (Shs12, 000) reached in 2002 after the end of the EU import ban.

 

Nile perch stocks drop

 

According to the Fish Info Network Market Report 2006 from the Food and Agriculture Organisation, stocks of Nile perch are dropping in Lake Victoria.

 

According to FAO statistics, in 1980 Nile perch made up 90 per cent of the fish population in the lake. In 2005 that figure had dropped to less than 50 per cent. This decline is attributed to the stiff competition from other species and the drop in the water level of the lake. The drop in the Nile perch stocks resulted last year in a 60 per cent increase in the price of whole fish to $2 (Shs 3, 600) at the plant gate.

 

The fall in fish stocks could soon cause massive loss of livelihood for thousands of fishmen, fishmongers, fish processors and other fish handlers.

 

"Fishermen have to travel long distances to get supplies. The shortage has been caused by different transaction costs faced by fishermen and transporters and the high demand. Fishermen charged high prices to recover other costs," the report said.

 

Aquaculture

 

The FAO report suggests that the industry is looking into other ventures. Some companies are investing in aquaculture, some in waste recovery, and some are looking to other fish like tilapia for further processing.

 

Mr Nyeko approves of these suggestions and is calling for increased investment in fish farming (aquaculture) if the country is to boost fish production.

 

It is estimated that more than 2,000 farmers are involved in aquaculture, harvesting more than 15,000 tonnes of fish per year.

 

"To be able to export this type of fish we need inspectors from the EU to carry out a monitoring programme and certify the farmers. But this should not stop people from farming because there other markets in the region," Mr Nyeko said.

 

He predicted that with the success of interventions like the proper beach management schemes, responsible processing and harvesting, plus increased aquaculture, the country will be able to earn at least $160 million (Shs288 billion) by the end of 2007.

 

Mr Nyeko said that a strong private sector will also help organise the producers to boost production and maintain the quality.

 

Currently there are 16 companies exporting fish under the Uganda Fish Processors and Exporters Association.

 

Theyinclude Freshwater Fish Exporters, Igloo Food Industries, Oakwood Investments, Green Field Ltd, Tampa Fisheries Ltd , Fishways Uganda Ltd , Uganda Fish Packers, and Hwang Sung.
 

 
Source or related URL: http://allafrica.com
 
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