Vietnamese hard clams first in world to win ASC certificate

Thursday, Dec 17, 2020 07:54

Representatives from Lenger Seafoods Vietnam Co receive the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certificate. — VNA/VNS Photo Van Dat

Hard clams from the northern province of Nam Dinh have become the first in the world to be presented with the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certificate.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the provincial People’s Committee held a ceremony in Nam Dinh on Tuesday to announce the honour.

The clams are raised in a 500ha farm in Nam Dinh Commune, Nghia Hung District, Nam Dinh Province, with an annual output of 10,000 tonnes.

Receiving the certificate is the result of a project on clam chain connectivity according to ASC implemented by the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in co-ordination with Lenger Seafoods Vietnam Co, Ltd, with the support of the International Collaborating Centre for Aquaculture and Fisheries Sustainability (ICAFIS), and the Research Centre for Resources and Rural Development (RECERD).

Founded in 2010 by WWF and IDH (Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative), the ASC is an independent, international non-profit organisation that manages the world’s leading certification and labelling programme for responsible aquaculture.

Its farm standards set strict requirements for responsible aquaculture that encourage seafood producers to minimise the environmental and social impacts of aquaculture.

According to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien, the ASC certificate will help export the clams to many countries.

He described the certification as a golden opportunity for Viet Nam to boost the domestic fishery sector.

Nam Dinh has about 3,000ha of clams, mainly in Giao Thuy and Nghia Hung districts, able to meet ASC requirements, said Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Phung Hoan.

The official suggested the MARD and other agencies continue to develop material areas for clam factories and work to help the province gain the certificate for other clam farms in the locality.

As of 2019, the total area of clams and molluscs in Vietnam reached some 41,500ha, with an accumulative output of nearly 310,000 tonnes, and export value in 2019 hitting nearly US$94 million, with $63 million coming from clams.

Clam breeding has generated jobs for about 200,000 labourers in localities nationwide.

The Vietnamese hard clams have won the taste of consumers in Europe, the US, Japan and South Korea, among others. The European market alone makes up 52 per cent of Viet Nam’s total clam export volume. — VNS

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