23 April 19 - Source: Myanmar Times - Myanmar will be able to export farmed marine products to the European Union (EU) starting from May 1, said U Thet Naing, deputy director of the Quality Control and Research Division of Fisheries Department.
Up until recently, the EU had only permitted imports of fish caught in the wild. From next week onwards, this will expand to include seven farmed fish, two prawn and one crab species.
These include the Rohu, Mrigal, Katla and Carfu fish species, river catfish, barbus fish, spotted prawn, white prawn and soft shell crab.
"We have been trying to export farmed fisheries to the EU since 2014. It is a difficult process and only a few countries in Asia have permission to do so. Wild fish exports to the EU make up only 3 percent of total fisheries exports. If farmed fish products can be exported, Myanmar will be able to increase its total marine exports to the EU," said U Thet Naing.
Of the 23 factories which export fish caught in the world to EU, 17 will also be able to export selected farmed fishery products. Two factories have already cleared the necessary procedures, U Thet Naing said.
The EU maintains high food quality standards that limit the number of fishery products it imports from overseas. "We need to continue raising our capacity to monitor whether farmed fish contain chemical residue. In Myanmar, we are still unable to test for chemical residue in our marine products," said Daw Toe Nanda Tin, vice chair of the Myanmar Fisheries Federation.
A total of 27 fish breeding farms which supply farmed fish to the factories that export marine products to the EU have been examined. These fish farms are located in Yangon Region, Ayeyarwady Region and Tanintharyi Region, said U Thet Naing.
There are more than 120 cold-storage facilities in Myanmar, of which 23 have been permitted to export fish caught in the wild to the EU. Out of 28 member states of EU, Myanmar now exports wild fish to the UK, Italy, France, Cyprus, Netherlands, Sweden, Greece, Belgium and Germany.
Between April 2017 to the end of March 2018, Myanmar exported more than 10,600 tonnes of marine products worth US$20 million to the EU.