Smuggled sturgeon from China crushes Vietnam’s farming

VietNamNet Bridge – Chinese sturgeons have been carried across the border gates to the north of Vietnam, from which they are carried via air to the south and other localities nationwide. The smuggled imports have made Vietnamese producers suffer.

sturgeon, smuggling, china, vietnam, fishermen, farmers

When asked why Chinese sturgeons need to go by air to penetrate deeply into the domestic market, Le Anh Duc, General Director of the Vietnam Ca Tam Company, said the fish cannot stand long trips, therefore, it cannot carried on waterways.

“We can see with our eyes a lot of batches of sturgeon, which were carried to the Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCM City, from which the products are distributed to the wholesalers in HCM City and other southern provinces,” Duc said.

“It is estimated that tens of tons of sturgeon arrive in HCM City every day,” he added.

According to Nguyen Viet Thuy from the Aquaculture Research Institute No. 3 -- one has to show three kinds of documents to import sturgeon to Vietnam, including the certificates of the origin of the fish, the quarantine certificate and the CITES’ (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) certificate.

Meanwhile, CITES Vietnam has affirmed that it has never granted any license to import Chinese sturgeon to Vietnam.

“I sell smuggled sturgeon imports from China”

Nguyen Van Toan, Director of Truong Toan Company Ltd, unexpectedly said at the conference of the cold water fish farming association held last week in Da Lat that his company has been distributing sturgeons imported from China.

“We sell both Chinese and Vietnamese sturgeons. However, no one can tell the difference between Chinese and Vietnamese fish,” he said.

The admission of Toan surprised the members of the association. This was the first time a Vietnamese businessman admitted that he has been distributing Chinese fish, a behavior which harms the domestic production.

Toan, in an interview given to Saigon Tiep Thi, said that though Truong Toan is a big sturgeon farmer with the output of 100-150 tons a year, it still imports Chinese products for sale in Vietnam.

“Truong Toan is a trade company. We buy products at low prices and resell at higher prices. Even if I don’t do that, Chinese imports would still be available on the market, because this job would be taken by others,” he said.

“If I only farm fish and sell Vietnamese fish, I will have to answer the question, to be or not to be?” he added.

Also according to Toan, there are some 5-6 Chinese sturgeon dealers in HCM City.

On April 29, a consignment of Chinese smuggled sturgeons was seized and ruined in Hanoi. The members of the cold water fish farming association got surprised when hearing that the wholesale price of the products in Vietnam is just VND50,000 per kilo. Meanwhile, Vietnamese products are selling at VND140,000-180,000.

Do Tien Thang, Director of Thien Ha Company Ltd in Lao Cai province said his company makes out 50-60 tons of sturgeons a year, but it has to scale down the production because he cannot compete with the Chinese imports in terms of price.

“I strongly believe that not one ton of Chinese imports would be able to enter Vietnam if Vietnam keeps strict control over the imports’ quality and the competent agencies require necessary documents as stipulated by the laws,” he said.

sturgeon, smuggling, china, vietnam, fishermen, farmers