Why Vietnam bans crawfish imports?

Crawfish is a threat to Vietnam’s agriculture. The species, Cherax quadricarinatus, has been imported from China across border gates for food, served at many restaurants and street shops.

As it is not too expensive, just VND200,000-300,000 per kilogram, it has been selling well.

Dinh Trong Thinh from the Vietnam Finance Academy said with high demand and reasonable cost, crawfish can bring high economic value. It is able to reproduce quickly and withstand environmental changes. However, with its biological characteristics, it can be a danger to the environment as it could destroy the ecosystem.

Why Vietnam bans crawfish imports?

The crawfish is omnivorous, eating all aquatic life, blocking all other species in the aquatic environment and leaving no food for the species. It even can cut hard rice stalks, and eat all kinds of young buds, shrimps and small fish.

“The short-term economic benefits crawfish farming and trading can bring are insignificant, while the long-term consequences are immeasurable,” Thinh said.

“The most worrying thing is that the exotic crawfish grows and reproduces very rapidly. Vietnam’s fish and shrimp may disappear amid crawfish invasion,” he said.

Dang Huy Huynh from the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, also warned that crawfish could be a threat to both agriculture and the ecosystem, saying that the agriculture ministry has made the right decision to prohibit the farming and consuming of crawfish in Vietnam.

Dang Huy Huynh from the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, also warned that crawfish could be a threat to both agriculture and the ecosystem, saying that the agriculture ministry has made the right decision to prohibit the farming and consuming of crawfish in Vietnam.

Other ecology experts all agree that it is necessary to prevent crawfish from entering Vietnam, warning about the ‘terrible destruction which will be difficult to rehabilitate.’

 

In the past, Vietnam suffered from many exotic species, including yellow snails and tom hum do (red lobster), or Procambarus clarkia, red-ear turtle and Chinese cockroaches (Eupolyphaga sinensis) and these mistakes must not be repeated, or Vietnam will have to pay heavy price for the loss of control.

Some people argued that it would be better to farm crawfish for food and put farming under strict control so as to both prevent the crawfish from penetrating the environment and receive economic benefits.

They also said the high value of crawfish is why some countries, including China and the US, farm crawfish for food.

Thinh doesn’t agree with the view. He said it depends on specific ecological environment conditions of every country.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong, speaking before the National Assembly on May 22, confirmed that crawfish is an exotic species which is voracious. It can destroy irrigation works and cause landslides, and it brings low economic efficiency.

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