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March 01, 2018

Importation of fish spawn from Thailand hits road block with MoC

Fishermen being seen at a fish firm.
Fishermen being seen at a fish firm.

THE Yangon Region Department of Fisheries has announced they are currently planning the import of the snakehead and climbing perch species of fish spawn from neighbouring Thailand in the name of developing Myanmar’s freshwater fishing farming sector.
U Htun Win Myint, head of the department, says despite a license being issued to the Okkarpyan Company to facilitate the importation of 350,000 snakehead fish spawn and over 100,000 climbing perch fish spawn from Thailand, the Ministry of Commerce has yet to grant the company with a trade license.
“The company made their license submission to the Ministry of Commerce in March, but the ministry is yet to grant them a license, stating these fish species are predators [to local fish species], but the Department of Fisheries has, in actual fact, stipulated which fish species are predators and which aren’t. The only restricted fish is the African Catfish. Neither snakehead nor climbing perch species of fish are among those fish restricted from entry into Myanmar.” explained U Htun Win Myint.
Upon the granting of a license, the fish spawn will be directly imported into the country via the Myanmar – Thai border trading town of Myawady, with responsibility for logistics to reportedly fall to the Shouti Star Company. As the aforementioned species of fish feed off paddy, they could then also be redistributed domestically, it is known.
“We’re still personally importing and breeding fish spawn ourselves. But high farming expenses don’t make it a cost-effective enterprise any longer. The breeding of fish spawn domestically would certainly alleviate the expenses of fish farmers.” said Dr Myint Swe, secretary of the Myanmar Fish Farmers Association.
It is reported the importation of snakehead and climbing perch fish spawn into Myanmar has yet to materialise due to a clause in Section 35 of the Freshwater Fisheries Law which forbids the import of fish species into the country that are predators to ethnic fish species.
The My Fish initiative, which sits under the authority of the Department of Fisheries’ World Fish Myanmar, is currently handling fish spawn breeding programs with the Tilapia species of fish within the Ayeyarwady Region in a bid to boost rural development.


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