Some 568,227.327 metric tonnes of fishery products, worth US$717.7 million, were exported to foreign trade partners in the 2017-2018 fiscal year (FY), the highest volume in 20 years, according to an official release by the Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Ministry.
This year, fishery exports through the Kawthoung border gate to Thailand improved considerably, according to the release.
Some 74,179.91 metric tonnes of fishery products, valued at $167.1 million, were shipped to foreign countries in the 1997-1998 FY. In the 2011-2012 FY, fishery exports reached 386,981.324 metric tonnes with an estimated value of $653.85 million.
“Myanmar exports only raw fish materials, but value-added products are required to enhance the sector. To boost fishery exports in the coming years, concerted efforts are needed to develop the whole supply chain, from fish farming and catching to processing. Additionally, we also need to conserve the fish resources for the future generations. Excessive exploitation must be strictly avoided,” said U Tun Win Myint, Director of Yangon Region Fisheries Department.
Daw Toe Nanda Tin from the Myanmar Fishery Federation (MFF) said efforts were being made to adopt advanced farming technologies to enhance the fishery export sector. New markets are also being explored, he added. The federation will set up projects to improve the Myanmar fishery industry, in cooperation with the region and state officials concerned. Also, MFF has plans to establish a public company.
“If the country can farm fish and prawn varieties, which grow quickly, its fishery income is likely to reach $1 billion. We are focusing on international marketing to determine which market we should enter. Moreover, we are also working on the supply level, so that we can meet the demands of the new markets,” said Daw Toe Nanda Tin.
There are more than 408,000 acres of fish and prawn lakes across Myanmar.
By May Thet Hnin