Current status of freshwater prawn culture in Vietnam and the development and transfer of seed production technology
Phuong NT., Hai TN., Hien TTT., Bui TV., Huong DTT., Son VN., Morooka Y., Fukuda Y., Wilder MN.
In Vietnam, the giant freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii is becoming an increasingly important targeted species, as its culture, especially in rice fields, is considered to have the potential to raise income among impoverished farmers. The production of M. rosenbergii based on aquaculture reached over 10 000 tons per year in 2002, having increased from about 2500 tons since the 1990s. Until recently, lack of a stable supply of seed had been an important obstacle to the further expansion and development of M. rosenbergii culture, but cumulative research on larval rearing, especially in the 1990s, has led to the development of new seed production technology based on the 'modified stagnant green water system'. Following its dissemination by the efforts of provincial authorities, hatchery operators, and farmers, the freshwater prawn seed production industry developed rapidly in the Mekong Delta with over 90 hatcheries producing 76.5 million postlarvae in 2003. This is considered to have affected the expansion of rice-prawn farming in the Mekong Delta, leading to increased aquacultural production in the region. This paper reviews the current status of freshwater prawn culture in Vietnam and background history, and presents a socioeconomic evaluation of seed production technology implementation.