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06:07 | 27/09/2010
Vietnam’s first privately-owned fisheries institute recently debuted its scientific council.

Owned by the southern Can Tho city-based Binh An Seafood Joint Stock Company (Bianfishco) and operational since July 30, 2010, the Binh An Fisheries Institute (Bianfishin) has attracted 22 scientists including 20 professors, associate professors and doctors working at Vietnam’s famous institutes and universities. The council will lay a firm foundation for Bianfishco to accelerate its production and business development strategies.

A high-tech approach is being taken to capitalise on the local industry’s rich promise

Bianfishco chairwoman and general director Pham Thi Dieu Hien said to satisfy demand for high-quality products of enterprises and fishermen, the institute would focus on research and development,  and application of advanced technology in genetics, breeding selection and production, animal feed research and production, vaccines, animal health and biological products. The institute would research technology for raising and processing aquatic products.  

Bianfishin concentrates on building standards, processes and regulations to ensure food hygiene and safety and country-of-origin labelling of products. It also conducts surveys of local markets and export markets, devising long-term market development strategies, forming consumption and distribution chains and forming the value chains for all aquatic products.

“In order to ensure Vietnam’s fisheries sector’s sustainable development, the institute aims to develop environmentally friendly technology for treating waste and protecting biological systems and natural resources,” Hien said.

Besides, Bianfishin will support local exporters and fishermen in many fields. The institute will delve into researching tra fish and other aquatic products, of which tra’s producing-processing-exporting chain will be researched into in a systematic manner, suitable to the “farm-to-table” process required by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

“All Bianfishin’s works aim to maximise food hygiene and safety of tra fish required by Vietnam’s foreign importers,” Hien said.

On top of that, the institute is also engaged in developing assorted aquatic products, which will in turn help Bianfishco and other enterprises diversify their range of products. Methods of raising tra fish in brackish and sea water will also be studied to cope with climate change, ensuring the sustainable development of Vietnam’s fisheries sector.

With the institute, Bianfishco aims to achieve its sustainable development, via its six top quality targets, quality for life, for fish- raising areas, for production factories, for finished products, for services and for consumers.

Hien said though the fisheries sector was one of Vietnam’s biggest hard currency earners, the country’s aquatic exports had relatively low added value.

“Thus, we want to apply scientific and technological achievements to home-made aquatic products, especially tra fish, and help millions of farmers to improve their earnings,” Hien said.

“The institute will also aim to preserve and develop tra fish, whose best quality can be only seen in Vietnam,” she added.

Operating under the model of joint stock science and technology company and under the Law on Science and Technology, Bianfishin has its own legal entity registered at the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Ta Quang Ngoc, former minister of Fisheries - which were merged into the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development some years ago, said it was necessary to devise a strategic development plan for Bianfishin to quickly grow and operate effectively. He said the institute should select tra as its focal research product, because Vietnam had earned much from exporting the fish to the international markets. Besides, the fish’s by-products should also be used to make other high economic value products.

Professor Chu Pham Ngoc Son, a member of Bianfishin’s scientific council, said the institute would help improve Bianfishco’s products’ quality and meet the world market’s stringent regulations.

“We wholly support Bianfishin which can well address the country’s fisheries sector’s limitations via quality-related solutions with new products such as fish sauce and cooking oil. We will spend time researching on these new products,” Son said.

Tran Quoc Thang, former deputy minister of Science and Technology and vice chairman of Bianfishin’s scientific council, said that the institute would also research into how to help Vietnam’s fisheries industry cope with climate change and develop effective models to raise tra fish.

By Huu Phuc

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