There are over 162,000 hectares of aquaculture in Myanmar. While the aquaculture products, demanded by European Union Market, have to be compliance with Good Aquaculture Practice (GAqP), Myanmar has only a few entrepreneurs holding such certificate. Earlier, the aquaculture products could not be exported much because there are only eight companies and 49 fish farms recently follow the GAqP certificates.
The Department of Fisheries is working on to establish the Good Aquaculture Practices (GAqP) , covering a wide range of aquaculture systems as guidelines to promote the aquaculture export growth along with emphasizing the sustainable and best aquaculture practices. Good Aquaculture Practices (GAqP) are a series of considerations, procedures, and protocols designed to achieve the financial and sustainable advantages for those adhered.
The MYSAP, a joint project by Department of Fisheries and GIZ, is strengthening the national GAqP standard to improve the efficient and responsible aquaculture production and expansion. It is not only to foster efficient and responsible aquaculture production but ensure product quality, safety, social labor and environmental responsibilities.
On 24 and 25 October 2019, 95 representatives of government ministries, private sector companies and federations, academia, civil society organizations and development agencies conducting work in aquaculture related areas took part in a two-day stakeholder dialogue on the establishment of a national good aquaculture practices (GAqP) standards, organized by MYSAP, at the Rose Garden Hotel, Yangon.
“Fishery products that are produced according to the guidelines are more acceptable in international markets. While other sectors are struggling to export to EU countries, it is a success for our fisheries sector to be able to export to the EU,” U Myint Zin Htoo, Deputy Director General of Department of Fisheries, said.
To come out a final version of national GAqP standard, the recommendation based upon a draft version of GAqP were made through groups discussions focusing on—the twelve elements of GAqP guideline – site selection, design and construction, species selection and containment, hygiene and sanitation, water usage and management, water usage and management, feed management, health, welfare and disease management, management of chemicals and veterinary drugs, harvest and post-harvest management, employees and community, climate change and extreme weather events, and legal compliance and business practices.
Though GAqP at the first stage is only voluntary practice which much not be followed by all aquaculture community, Department of Fisheries is preparing to raise the technical awareness of GAqP of farmers in proper demonstration units.
As part of this, a National GAqP Standard is a fundamental tool in the intensification of a sustainable aquaculture sector and the setting up of such a standard is a prominent activity in the National Aquaculture Development Plan (NADP) of Myanmar.