EU official changes attitude to VN tra fish

(VNA)Struan Stevenson, Senior Vice President of the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee, has changed his mind for imports of Vietnamese pangasius fish after his visit to Vietnam from May 13-23, 2011.

“Until recently, I was an arch critic of panga fish production, but having seen production methods first-hand and learned more about this highly regulated market, I am ready to admit that my previous comments were misplaced,” Stevenson wrote on his website at

The fisheries European official in 2010 raised concerns over standards of hygiene, welfare, feed and fish health at many of the 1,600 fish farms in Vietnam ’s Mekong delta.

Stevenson said that his own attitude to Vietnamese farmed fish imports has changed for the better and that increasing demand for these fish presents a huge opportunity for European businesses.

“Only the biggest, most efficient pangasius farms in the Mekong Delta export to Europe . These facilities get inspected and approved by the European Commission, and are regularly audited by major supermarket buyers like ASDA, Tesco, and Carrefour, so that EU consumers have no need to worry about the quality of the food on their tables,” he said.

“Far from finding a dirty, unhygienic and polluted business, I discovered a dynamic new industry, meeting world-class welfare and hygiene standards and producing a quality product under first-rate conditions. It also provides secure jobs, social security benefits and pension provisions for millions of desperately poor people in the Mekong Delta.”

He said the EU has benefited from the rapid expansion of fish farming in Vietnam, by exporting expertise together with processing and farming equipment./.