Fishery exports soar to over $847 mln in 2019-2020FY

A file photo shows workers select shrimps in Kyauktan, Yangon Region.  Photo: Phoe Khwar

Export earnings from the fisheries sector during the period between 1 October and 25 September in the financial year 2019-2020 reached US$847.5 million, an increase of $125.65 million from the year-ago period, according to statistics released by the Commerce Ministry.
The figures stood at just $721.865 million during a-year ago period. During the current financial year, the fishery exports are expected to reach a record high. Myanmar Fisheries Federation (MFF) expected to earn more than $800 million from fishery exports in the FY2019-2020, and it got a target. Myanmar exports fisheries products, such as fish, prawns, and crabs, to markets in 40 countries, including China, Saudi Arabia, the US, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and countries in the European Union. Myanmar’s fishery exports have slightly declined over the past three months, owing to the COVID-19 impacts. However, Myanmar witnessed a large volume of exports in the post-pandemic period.
The MFF is making concerted efforts to increase fishery export earnings by developing fish farming lakes which meet international standards and adopting advanced fishing techniques. To ensure food safety, the foreign market requires suppliers to obtain Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Good Aquaculture Practices (GAqP) certificates.
To meet international market standards, fishery products must be sourced only from hatcheries that are compliant with GAqP. The MFF is working with fish farmers, processors, and the Fisheries Department under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation to develop the GAqP system.
Processors can screen fishery products for food safety at ISO-accredited laboratories under the Fisheries Department.
There are 480,000 acres of fish and prawn breeding farms across the country and more than 120 cold-storage facilities in Myanmar.
Myanmar exported 340,000 tonnes of fishery products worth $530 million in the 2013-2014FY, 330,000 tonnes worth $480 million in the 2014-2015FY, 360,000 tonnes worth $500 million in the 2015-2016FY, 430,000 tonnes worth $600 million in the 2016-2017FY, 560,000 tonnes worth $700 million in the 2017-2018FY, and over 580,000 tonnes in the 2018-2019FY, according to the Commerce Ministry. An MFF official said the federation had asked the government to tackle problems faced in the export of farm-raised fish and prawns through G2G pacts and ensure smooth freight movement between countries to bolster exports.
Myanmar’s economy is more dependent on the agricultural sector to a large extent. Also, the fisheries sector contributes a lot to the national gross domestic product (GDP). Its fishery production, including shrimps and saltwater and freshwater fish, is far better than the regional countries. If the state can boost processing technology, it will contribute to the country’s economy and earn more income for those stakeholders in the supply chain, Yangon Region Fisheries Department stated.—GNLM (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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