Actual Activities of Sea Food Processing Factories in Myanmar

Workers sort out prawns at a factory. Photo: Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development
Workers sort out prawns at a factory. Photo: Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development

The Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (GOM) has been going forward to our targets to reduce the poverty of rural communities of Myanmar. Under this policy, Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development has been promoting several measures, and one of which is to revitalize local economy in agriculture, livestock and fishery sector through enhancing its system and productivity. Department of Fisheries lay out three basic plan of action for the development of fisheries targeting to 20 years plan (2011-12 fiscal year to 2030-2031 fiscal year). These plans are (a) sustainable development of fisheries sector through implementing of supervision, managing, and extension for fishing in line with existing laws and regulations or update and amend fisheries laws and conservation of fish and their habitats (b) development of small scale aquaculture for socio-economic development of rural people and extending of commercial fish farming and (c) food security, production of safety fishery products and improvement of the production of value added fishery products. In the second Five years plan, fisheries sector is targeted to increase 1.3% of gross output value (GOV) annually.
Fishery products export
Department of Fisheries (DoF) is strengthening seafood exporters to follow up the international guidelines for the improvement of fishery products export. In Myanmar, production of fishery products from inshore fisheries, offshore fisheries, inland fisheries and aquaculture for 2012-2013 fiscal year is 4716.22 thousand metric tons and for 2013-2014 fiscal year is 5047.53 thousand metric tons. All fishery products are primarily distributed for local food security and the surplus are exported. Fishery products including sea foods and aquaculture fish were exported in the amount of 376845.689 MT in 2012-2013 fiscal years and in 2013-2014 fiscal year, 345267.363 MT was exported. In the fiscal year of 2014-2015, 338290.586 MT of fishery products were exported. The exported amount of fishery products share only 6% of total fishery production.
Status of Sea Food Processing Factories at Myanmar
In the statistic data of 2014-2015 fiscal year, there are 116 cold storages and processing factories including 2 cold storages and 74 seafood processing factories in Yangon region, 19 seafood processing factories in Tanintharyi region, 6 seafood factories in Ayeyarwady region, 7 factories in each Mon state and Rakhine State and 1 cold storage in Shan state. Recently, 2 soft-shelled crab processing factories are opening and running at Laputta Township at Ayeyarwady region. In Yangon region, except 2 processing factories, the rest are running ordinary and exported 5564 numbers of seafood containers in 2013-2014 fiscal year and 5410 numbers of seafood containers in 2014-2015 fiscal year. Those two processing factories at Yangon region have been temporarily shut down because of they are planning to construct their own plant. DoF allowed 13 factories for importing of sea food raw materials from foreign countries to sustainable running of local processing factories by the contract processing system. From that system, 1834.80725 MT of sea food were re-exported.
From the results of recently survey marine fisheries biomass conducted by DoF and Norway Government supported with Dr. Fridjot Nansen research vessel, there have limits for the increase of marine fishing activities. Therefore, DoF is coordinating with EU to get project support value for 20 Million Euro in the sector of aquaculture development. Recently, DoF is giving the training of Good Aquaculture Practices (GAqP) supported by EU to be able to increase exporting of aquaculture products to meet the requirements of EU markets.
Even those, for the previous DOF has practiced per-shipment inspection of each contain for export fishers products including document check of price confirmation, when the new Government period just started 2013-2014 fiscal year and DOF has released (mentioned below) for export, objective of the more effectiveness for trade facilitation. At the present, transportation is more convenient through mountain range areas and rural areas strengthen the local distribution and increasing the local consumption become one of the root causes for decreasing of export quantity. In accordance with the official information from Hotel and Tourism Department, 2014-2015 fiscal year, 3.8 million of tourists came to Myanmar. Therefore, sea food consumption at local hotels and restaurants are also increased due to increase of tourism industry.
In conclusion, DoF is supervision and encouraging the Sea Food Processors and 113 numbers of processing factories from total 116 factories are running as a whole and it means 97% of sea food processing factories are running as ordinarily.

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