Faced with climate challenges, Vietnamese rice farmers switch to shrimp

TRAN DE, Vietnam — For years, Ta Thi Thanh Thuy toiled on a sliver of land sandwiched between the Mekong River and the South China Sea, a region widely known as Vietnam's rice bowl, to

5/6/2021 11:30:00 PM

As rising seawaters bring significantly increased salination levels in the Mekong Delta region, the trend toward cultivating shrimp ponds is expected to supercharge Vietnam's seafood industry. | Reuters

TRAN DE, Vietnam — For years, Ta Thi Thanh Thuy toiled on a sliver of land sandwiched between the Mekong River and the South China Sea, a region widely known as Vietnam's rice bowl, to

“Life was very hard for us until we began to farm shrimp,” Thuy, 52, said. “Many shrimp farmers around here have been able to build nice houses and open saving accounts at banks.”The seawater increase in the delta region has been compounded by the construction of several hyodropower dams upstream, further reducing fresh water flow.

Academicians say education must correct Marcos, martial law myths and disinformation LIVE UPDATES: United Nations General Assembly 2021 Cynthia Villar still richest senator in 2020 with ₱3.87-B wealth

“We planted rice but we harvested no rice,” said fellow shrimp farmer Ta Thanh Long. “There was a time the rice could still grow when the water was still fresh. But then the water became more and more salty each year.”At least one third of the rice farming area along Soc Trang province’s 72-kilometer coastline has been affected by salination over the past few years, said Duong Minh Hoang, former director of the province’s Agriculture Promotion Centre.

“We have urged local people to switch to crops that are suitable with salination,” Hoang said. “Climate change is impacting everyone here. We have to try to adapt to survive.”Exports boomVietnam is the world’s third largest exporter of rice, but revenue generated from shrimp exports has exceeded earnings from rice since 2013 and is growing quickly. headtopics.com

ADVERTISEMENT“Seafood processors around here come to buy up all the shrimp we farm,” said Ta Thanh Tung, 44, one of Thuy’s five siblings who have all switched from rice to shrimp farming.“We heard they’re exporting the shrimp to Europe, China and the United States”.

Industry analysts expect exports to rise by 5-10% annually over the next decade as the country’s total shrimp farming lands – mostly in the Delta – increase by 3-5% each year.Vietnam’s largest seafood exporter, Minh Phu Seafood Corp, has an even more ambitious target to turn the country into the world’s largest shrimp exporter. Minh Phu expects more than a dozen recently agreed bilateral and multilateral trade agreements to help boost exports to $20 billion, or a quarter of global exports, by 2045.

That could help ease some of the economic pressure the Southeast Asian country faces in the years ahead. The World Bank estimates that climate change alone is poised to reduce Vietnam’s national income by as much as 3.5% by 2050.Shrimp worriesThe switch to shrimp from rice, however, comes with its own host of environmental problems.

Switzerland-based NGO, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), estimates more than half of the country’s natural mangrove forests, which protect against coastal erosion and storm surges, have been cleared to make way for shrimp ponds. headtopics.com

PH to lose 'huge' Chinese investments if US-backed candidate wins in 2022 presidential race - South China Sea 'expert' House panel takes cue from Duterte, targets Red Cross Pfizer says its COVID jab safe for children aged 5-11

Aquaculture experts have highlighted a lack of regulatory oversight of the explosion in small shrimp farms, with questions about everything from the raw material used in feed to the way they manage their effluent or waste.There are particular concerns about the use of antibiotics to treat disease in shrimp stocks. Antibiotics can seep into effluent, which is usually dumped, untreated or inadequately treated, back into the surrounding waterways, raising the risk of chemical pollution in the immediate environment and detrimental knock-on effects down the food chain.

“Whilst overfishing and dams are discussed … the insidious nature of invisible pollutants is not being considered,” said Matt Landos, an Australia-based veterinarian scientist specializing in aquatic animal health. “Yet it’s clear they are present, and levels are negative for fishery productivity.”

Further, the increasing salination and rising seawater levels that prompted the switch in the first place could end up devastating the Delta.A rise of 0.7 to 1.0 meters would put about 40% of the region underwater, according to Le Anh Tuan, a professor at the College of Environment and Natural Resources at Can Tho University.

“The shrinking trend will continue over the coming years and parts of the rice fields will have to be converted into aquaculture farms, fruit farms and other crops,” Tuan added.Shrimp farmers say they are already dealing with worrying signs of accelerating salinity levels. headtopics.com

“We have to dig the wells deeper for freshwater now,” added Thuy. “We are very concerned that because of rising seawater levels our farms will one day be submerged.” Read more: Inquirer »

House panel hits Senate: Pharmally probe is 'in aid of election'

House panel chair Michael Aglipay says at least four senators 'savor every minute they can get for free TV coverage and publicity'

Women empowerment group: Taking care of families has been more challenging for mothersShe Talks Asia says no matter the situation, mothers are natural caregivers who are ready to face great challenges in order to take care of their families.

‘Nobody noticed the freezer was turned off’: 348 Coronavac vials destroyed in Cotabato townCOTABATO CITY—At least 348 vials of Coronavac, the coronavirus vaccine manufactured by Chinese firm Sinovac, had been left in a freezer without electricity during the weekend and may have been That's what you get from LGUs manned by less than half-competent appointees and casuals. How freaking irresponsible is that!!!I can't even! Unfuckingbelievable!

PLM to resume face-to-face classes for medical clerkshipsThe Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila will resume face-to-face classes for medical clerkships following approval from the Commission on Higher Education, its president said Thursday. hi, sorry for promoting but dm me to avail. a rt or like is a big help for my ol class and expenses thank u! NETFLIX AND SPOTIFY PREMIUM dm me to avail mop : gcash or load. Dafat lang wid all da vaccines arriving. Dafat lng binabalik n dahan2x s normal.Imba pa ren ang fez to fez classes lalo n pag medical courses. Buti sna kng lahat ng peg pwede online, virtual surgery lng ganern. What kind of medical professionals will we produce? What u think?

Ahong backs limited face-to-face classes in Lapu schoolsChan, however, said that he will only allow 50% capacity for students in schools that would implement the teaching modality.