Adriano Guerra Reports
Northeast Brazil in the Early 1970s
Starting at the Ralston Purina shrimp farming project in northeast Brazil in the early 1970s, Adriano Guerra has been farming shrimp for almost thirty-five years. When Purina closed the project in Brazil, he went to work for them in Panama, sourcing wild broodstock for Purina’s hatchery, Agromarina de Panama, one of the world’s first modern shrimp hatcheries. In 1975, he moved back to Brazil for a few years and then, in 1978, went to work for Sea Farms in Choluteca, Honduras, again sourcing broodstock. He later worked for Shrimp Culture, Inc., in Guatemala, capturing wild postlarvae for pond stocking.
In 1988, he moved back to Brazil again and helped start Marine–Maricultura do Nordeste S/A and became its technical director. In 1991, the farm was sold and he began working as a consultant, selling paddlewheel aerators on the side. Most recently, he has developed a new aeration system that’s currently being tested on some farms in Brazil.
The Purina Project
In the early 1970s, shrimp farming got started in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Norte with research carried out under the supervision of Tupã Ferreira de Souza. Another project got started in the southern state of Santa Catarina at about the same time. Both projects used local shrimp species, growing them extensively, without feed, because there were no shrimp feed mills in Brazil at the time.
On December 26, 1972, Purina do Brasil Alimentos and the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, through its Laboratório de Ciências do Mar, signed an agreement to undertake research on semi-intensive shrimp farming in northeast Brazil. Dennis Zensen and William More represented Ralston Purina and Raul Cunha Freire represented Purina do Brasil Alimentos.
Guerra first met Bill More and Raul Cunha in Recife at the beginning of 1972, in a restaurant on Boa Viagem Beach named “Barril 1800”. At the time he was a student, studying fisheries engineering. Since he spoke English, not very common in northeastern Brazil, they spent some time together that day and developed a nice relationship. For the next two days, they toured around Boa Viagem in a dune buggy and did some fishing. On the following day, they met at Guerra’s apartment to say goodbye and briefly talked about the possibility of starting a shrimp project. Three months later, More returned to Brazil and hired Guerra to help source broodstock for a new Purina project on Itamaracá Island, about 40 kilometers north of Recife, in the state of Pernambuco.
The plan was to capture gravid (with eggs) shrimp, spawn them and then ship the nauplii to Purina’s facility in Crystal River, Florida, USA, where they would be grown to postlarvae and then shipped back to Brazil for stocking in 19 ponds (1,200 square meters each) on Itamaracá Island. The pond construction was supervised by Padge Beasley and Mel McKey. The ponds had wooden gates and depended on tidal flow to circulate the water. They were constructed with labor from a local prison, where the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco taught some aquaculture classes. Padge Beasley, known as “Mr. Pepsi” because he drank so much Canadian Club and 7UP, supervised the construction and “did an excellent job”, according to Guerra. Prior to stocking, the ponds were treated with rotenone, imported from the United States, to eliminate fish.
Many different species of postlarvae were shipped from Purina’s shrimp hatchery in Crystal River to Rio de Janeiro and then to Recife, where they were picked up and transferred to the ponds on Itamaracá Island. The total shipping time, from Crystal River, Florida, to the pond site in Recife was around 30 to 40 hours.
The farm’s only equipment was a refractometer to check salinity and a small gasoline pump to do quick water exchanges on an emergency basis. Oxygen levels were checked with the Winkler method, a chemical test for determining the amount of O2 in water.
After setting up the ponds, the second stage of the project began with the arrival of Yosuke Hirono (“Yoshi”), who became Guerra’s boss. Their assignment was to capture wild, gravid P.brasiliensis and P. schmitti, spawn them and ship the nauplii to Crystal, River Florida, USA, for growout. With no idea where to find the gravid shrimp, they started by visiting fish markets in all the Brazilian ports from Belém in the north to Santa Catarina in the south. From February through June 1973, they visited nearly every Brazilian port that had a fishing fleet.
In Vitória, the capital of the state of Espirito Santo (on the south-central coast), they decided to charter a trawler to capture gravid shrimp. They caught around 15 females with eggs and were able to spawn a few of them in a makeshift spawning facility at a local yacht club. They packed them in two boxes with oxygen for shipment to Crystal River.
Then everything went haywire.
Guerra Tells the Story
On the day that we caught the gravid females, we met a journalist—a friend of the boat owner. We made it clear that we had no intention of making our work public and that we didn’t want any press coverage, but we could not prevent him from getting on the boat because he was the guest of the owner. He swore that any information that he collected or photographs that he took would be for his own records.
As usual, we started fishing in the early evening and worked all night. The journalist bombarded us with basic questions about shrimp farming like: “How many eggs does one female produce?” “How big do the shrimp get?” “How much do they sell for in Japan?” He got a little annoying after a while, so we just gave him basic answers: “One female could spawn a million eggs.” “An adult shrimp could weigh over 100 grams.” “The cost of a kilo of shrimp in Japan could be as much $10.” That night we caught 10-15 gravid females and brought them back to our improvised laboratory at the Vitória Yacht Club. We were able to spawn three of the females and produced around 200,000 nauplii.
After packing them, I drove the two boxes full of nauplii to the Vitória airport and then traveled with them to Rio de Janeiro to make sure they got on the plane to Florida. We paid the freight in advance so that we could deliver the boxes directly to the airplane minutes prior to departure. Yoshi stayed in Vitória to clean up the lab and finish the paperwork.
When the plane arrived in Rio de Janeiro, the two men sitting next to me grabbed me by the arms and presented me with a warrant for my arrest. I thought that it was a practical joke and got a little angry. Then the men identified themselves as Federal Police and showed me their IDs. I knew that something was terribly wrong, but I had no idea what it was. They took me to their station at the airport.
When we arrived at their office, the two boxes of nauplii were already there, along with some journalists who were taking pictures and asking questions. The chief officer at the station asked for the cargo documents and wanted to know what was inside the boxes. After telling him about the project and showing him all the documents, signed by high authorities, and the export permits, they still did not believe me. I told them they could open the boxes, but if oxygen escaped and the temperature changed the animals would die, and they would be responsible. So the chief decided to call his superior, and after a few more minutes I had to explain everything again. By that time, the flight to Florida was due to depart. The officials called the control tower and put a hold on its departure.
After going through my story with another official, I told them that I was not going to do it again, and that if they did not release the cargo, I would call a company lawyer and let them be responsible for whatever happened to the animals. At that moment, they decided to make a phone call to the Superintendência do Desenvolvimento da Pesca, a very important official, the official who had signed the export permits, at his house, late at night. Everybody was very tense because they were about to wake up a very important person.
The superintendent confirmed my story and had some words for the local officials that I didn’t hear. Suddenly there was a big change in their demeanor. The chief turned pale and apologized, saying that everything had been a terrible misunderstanding. Immediately after hanging up the phone, he ordered a couple of policemen to deliver the nauplii directly to the plane.
It was almost midnight when they set me free. All the taxi drivers had gone home for the night, so they gave me a ride in one of their vehicles and got me a room at the Savoy Hotel in Copacabana Beach. They understood how serious the situation was and did not want Purina to file a complaint. I called Yoshi and told him what had happened.
Yoshi, who did not speak Portuguese, was also arrested by the Federal Police and kept under house arrest at his hotel. Without being able to communicate with me, he had no idea what was going on. He tried to call the local Purina staff, but had no success, so he made a long-distance call to Purina’s headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, which called the authorities in Brazil, and the police eventually released him.
What caused all this turmoil? The journalist who joined us on the sourcing trip had made some quickie calculations, based on the information that we gave him, and figured the shrimp must be worth $15,000,000. He probably thought we were big time smugglers and decided to report us to the Federal Police.
I never did find out what the superintendent said to the officials at the airport, but for sure he was not happy because it jeopardized one of his pet projects. In fact, after that incident, Purina decided to terminate the project, but the main reason that Purina pulled out of Brazil was because the government denied its request for a permit for a large operation using a nonindigenous species like Penaeus vannamei. Purina then decided to locate the project in Panama.
The harvest from the ponds was given to the penitentiary and the ponds were donated to the Universidade Federal of Pernambuco, and I went to work for David Drennan and Ron Staha at Purina’s hatchery in Vera Cruz, Panamá.
After all ponds were harvested, the results were put in a final report and submitted to the Brazilian Department of Fisheries and the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco. To sum it up, the results were very good, especially for the nonindigenous species, P. vannamei and P. stylirostris. At low densities, the stylies really performed well. All the other species did not do well, including the local species, P. brasiliensis and P. occidentalis. We did not have a chance to try P. schmitti.
In 1986, P. vannamei was brought into the state of Bahia by two private sector shrimp farms Maricultura da Bahia and Camanor, and, as they say, the rest is history. Brazil’s farmed shrimp production eventually soared to 90,000 metric tons a year.
Information: Adriano Guerra, President, AG, Inc., Av. Cabo Branco, 2566 – João Paraiba, Brazil (phone 55-83-3247.9661, cell 55-83-9981.1269, email firstname.lastname@example.org, webpage www.aeraskimmer.com.br).
Source: Notes received from Adriano Guerra on October 29, 2007.
Cure Hay Fever with Shrimp Shells
An experimental hay fever spray made from shrimp shells is taking Amanda Parkes’s sniffles away. She is part of a study to test the new treatment as an alternative to antihistamines and steroid nasal sprays (not recommended for people with high blood pressure). After spending the weekend in her garden, Parkes is convinced she did not receive the placebo. “I mowed the grass and I spent a lot of time in the garden trimming things,” she said. “I had quite a good night’s sleep. That’s fabulous for me. My eyes are a bit sore but I haven’t had the problems I usually get with my nose. Usually I sneeze and sneeze and sneeze and then I get congested. Everything becomes inflamed at the back of the nose and my throat can get itchy as well.” Parkes is one of 200 Australians taking part in the study, based on a carbohydrate called chitin found in crustacean shells, insect skeletons and in some fungi.
“Chitin’s been shown to stimulate the immune system in a way that works against allergy,” explained Janet Rimmer, of Sydney’s Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, who is involved in the trial. “It’s a totally novel approach...being used on hundreds of people, and there doesn’t seem to be any side effects. It looks extremely promising.”
Source: Couriermail.com.au. Not to be sneezed at (http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,22933084-5003426,00.html). Janelle Miles. December 16, 2007.
Antibiotics—Nitrofurans Found in One Sample of Shrimp
The Canadian Food Safety and Inspection Agency has put Zhanjiang Guolian Aquatic Products on its import alert list, charging that a single sample of its shrimp, shipped to Canada via the USA, in October 2007, tested positive for nitrofurans. This would not be news, except that Guolian Aquatic is the only Chinese seafood export company that has been cleared and is exempt from mandatory detention of shrimp and other shipments in the USA.
The Wall Street Journal reported that four shipments of shrimp were sent to Canada on October 19, 2007. Three of them passed inspection. The fourth was rejected due to the presence of nitrofurans, so the Canadian Government put Guolian Aquatic on its import alert list. Since then, Guolian has not shipped any products to Canada.
A spokesman for Guolian has vehemently denied that it failed the test. According to the Wall Street Journal, Guolian general manager Chen Han said that the Canadian action was a mistake. He said that it appeared that another company had stolen Guolian’s identity—perhaps using false paperwork. He said Guolian had sent an email about the matter to Canada’s food-inspection agency. The agency said that it did not received the email.
The designation of Guolian as the sole exempt shrimp exporter from China has been controversial because other Chinese companies have clamored to get inspected and on the approved list but have not been successful. Some of the nonexempt companies are charging that the Chinese government is deliberately dragging its feet, to give Guolian a market advantage. Guolian says it was granted the exemption “because of our good quality, and it had nothing to do with the government pressing it on our behalf.”
Source: Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service). Canada cites Guolian Aquatic, the sole Chinese company exempted from mandatory FDA inspections. Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 781-861-1441, email email@example.com). December 17, 2007.
Tiger Shrimp Have Problems Competing with White Shrimp
India’s exports of giant tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) face a serious threat from the less expensive white shrimp (P. vannamei) produced in Thailand, China and Indonesia. Most of the shrimp importing nations, especially the USA, prefer vannamei to monodon because it is cheaper. The dominance of vannamei in the global market has seriously hit Indian exports, already reeling from problems due to the appreciation of the rupee.
According to the Seafood Exporters’ Association of India (SEAI), the current price for Indian shrimp in the 21-25 count per kilogram range has dropped to $10.09 from $12.52 in 2005-2006.
A.J. Tharakan, president of SEAI, said the average production cost of vannamei is $2.28 a kilogram while that of monodon is over $4.05 a kilo.
India produces 150,000 metric tons of shrimp a year, mainly P. monodon, P. indicus (a white shrimp) and Macrobrachium rosenbergii (a freshwater prawn).
China produces 650,000 tons, Thailand 450,000 tons, Indonesia 400,000 [?] tons and Vietnam 350,000 tons. Vannamei accounts for 90 percent of global shrimp farm production.
Tharakan said the government should allow vannamei farming, so that its shrimp farmers could compete with those in other Asian nations—but in spite of repeated pleas from SEAI, the government has not allowed vannamei farming because it fears vannamei might carry viruses that could spread to all of India’s crustaceans, farmed and wild.
Source: Business Standard. Shrimp exporters under threat (http://www.business-standard.com/smartinvestor/storypage.php?leftnm=lmnu6&subLeft=11&autono=307303&tab=r). George Joseph. December 13, 2007.
CP Prima Signs Agreement with Shrimp Farmers
On December 17, 2007, PT Central Proteinaprima (CP Prima), the world’s biggest shrimp farm, signed a key partnership agreement with shrimp farmers at its subsidiary company, PT Aruna Wijaya Sakti, formerly known as PT Dipasena Citra Darmaja. The farmers work 17,870 shrimp ponds covering some 16,030 hectares in Lampung Province, Sumatra. CP Prima, under the supervision of Aruna Wijaya Sakti, will apply its technology to boost shrimp production in the farmers’ ponds, and the farmers in return will sell their product directly to the firm.
In addition to PT Aruna Wijaya Sakti, CP Prima has two other huge farms in Lampung Province, Sumatra. Altogether, it has 50,000 hectares of shrimp ponds and provides more than 38,000 jobs, including 12,500 full-time jobs.
Source: Jakarta Post. CP Prima Signs Agreement with Shrimp Farmers (http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailbusiness.asp?fileid=20071218.L02&irec=1). December 18, 2007.
Farmed Shrimp Production Drops by 92% in Boushehr Province
Eskandar Golestani, Executive of the Union of Shrimp Growers in Province, said the shrimp production in the province decreased to 800 tons from 6,000 tons in the previous year. From the 800 tons that were produced, a total of 200 tons was exported to Dubai, Kuwait and Egypt. Shrimp production in Boushehr has been dropping since 2003 because of foreign exchange problems, shrimp diseases and low shrimp prices. The shrimp farmers owe the banks over $50 million, but don’t have the money to pay off their loans. They have asked the president and their representatives in parliament to forgive the loans.
Source: Iran Agriculture News Agency. 92 percent of decrease in the production rate of shrimp in the province Boushehr (http://www.iananews.com/english/details.aspx?id=905). Fatemeh Mehrdadian (translated by Aref Mohammadzadeh). December 15, 2007.
I am Faisal Abubakar from Arusha, Tanzania. I am interested in starting an extensive or a semi-intensive shrimp farm and want someone to come to Tanzania and help me design, build and manage the project. I am ready to invest.
Information: Faisal Abubakar Hashim (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Source: Email to Shrimp News International from Faisal Abubakar on December 20, 2007.
Shrimp Farmers to Cut Production to Increase Prices
In a bid to curb a sharp fall in shrimp prices and strengthen the country’s export bargaining power, Thai shrimp farmers have joined forces to reduce shrimp production by 20 percent in 2008.
On December 17, 2007, the Thai Shrimp Association, the Thai Marine Shrimp Farmers’ Association, the Surat Thani Shrimp Farmers’ Club and other shrimp farming organizations held a joint press conference to explain their plan.
The associations, which represent thousands of shrimp farmers, felt the need to implement the measure after facing a dramatic price slump in 2007. The average farm gate price for 50-count-per-kilogram shrimp has been $3.13 over the past few months. Earlier this year, the price was at least $4.61. Previous price slumps have occurred during past harvest seasons for about two months, but this year’s slump lasted at least eight months.
Under the plan, shrimp farmers will reduce the number of crops by growing larger shrimp and will not bring any new ponds into production.
The plan is aimed at reducing the country’s shrimp production from its projected volume of 530,000 metric tons of whole shrimp this year to 500,000 tons next year. Shrimp production increased by six percent in 2007, compared to 2006.
Thai Shrimp Association president Somsak Paneetatyasai said the strategy would encourage farmers to concentrate more on quality production, adding that reduced production would help shore up shrimp prices in 2008.
The association expects processed shrimp exports to reach 350,000 tons in 2008, worth about $2.6 billion. In 2007, total export volume of processed shrimp was 340,000 tons worth $2.8 billion.
“It has been a difficult year for the shrimp farming industry,” said Somsak. “We’ve faced not only nontrade barriers, but also dumping duties and cuts in the Generalized System of Preferences, which resulted in lower shrimp prices and big losses for farmers.”
The drop in prices arose from two major factors: the appreciation of the baht and stiff competition from other shrimp farming countries in Southeast Asia.
Somsak hopes lower shrimp supplies will encourage the market to purchase shrimp at higher prices.
Thai shrimp farmers also face higher feed costs, expected to increase 20% in 2008.
Ekapoj Yodpinit, president of the Surat Thani Shrimp Farmers’ Club, said Thailand must solve the oversupply problem or face another drop in prices from March to June 2008, when the first crop of the year is harvested.
Production costs are expected to increase 10-15 percent in 2008. At the current price of $3.13 per kilogram, farmers lose about $1.00 on every kilogram of shrimp that they sell!
Source: The Nation. Shrimp Farmers Cut Production (http://nationmultimedia.com/2007/12/18/business/business_30059402.php). Achara Pongvutitham. December 18, 2007.
Plans to Produce Larger Shrimp in 2008
Surat Thani Province in southern Thailand is located 650 kilometers, or about an hour’s flight, from Bangkok. Along the main streets in the province’s major cities, there are shrimp restaurants and shops selling shrimp feeds and shrimp farming equipment. The Thai Marine Shrimp Farmers’ Association, the largest organization of shrimp farmers in Thailand, is headquartered in Surat Thani. The association is composed of about 120 representatives from shrimp farming organizations all over the country. It publishes a monthly bulletin, Shrimp Thailand, and distributes about 5,000 copies of it to its members free of charge. The bulletin provides production and export statistics on a region-to-region basis, along with information on production methods and food safety.
Dr. Sural Prantuangtum, president of the Surat Thani Shrimp Farmers' Association, which has about 80 members, said proudly: “Surat Thani Province has the longest history of shrimp farming in Thailand. We are sharing a variety of information among ourselves by holding about two meetings a month.”
Thailand produces approximately 500,000 tons of whole shrimp a year, and Surat Thani Province produces about 40,000 tons a year.
“Up until a few years ago, the Japanese market was the largest market for Thai shrimp...but as production switched to vannamei, it became very difficult for us to continue producing large-size shrimp. Thus we lost out in the Japanese market,” said Dr. Prantuangtum, adding that production of large-sizes, like 13/15 and 16/20 count-per-pound shrimp, is increasing, and the industry hopes to regain sales in the Japanese market.
Source: Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service). Thailand looks to increase production of large shrimp for Japanese market; focus on Surat Thani Province. Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 781-861-1441, email email@example.com). December 13, 2007.
Production Costs Rise
Somsak Paneetatyasai, president of The Thai Shrimp Association, said the cost of shrimp production increased 10 to 20 percent in 2007. The association expects production of 500,000-550,000 metric tons of whole shrimp in 2008, up from 530,000 tons in 2007.
Source: The Nation. Cost of living is set to soar (http://nationmultimedia.com/2007/12/12/business/business_30058816.php). Petchanet Pratruangkrai. December 12, 2007.
A writer in Thailand reports: I have a shrimp secret to tell. Twenty years ago at a shrimp farm in southern Thailand, while enjoying a plate of cooked shrimp [Penaeus monodon, no doubt], I discovered a secret about shrimp that no one believes until I show them. I know you won’t believe me either. You’ll just have to get a shrimp and look for yourself. Flip the shrimp over on its back and look at its abdomen, where the head portion meets the tail. Shrimp have reproductive organs that look very similar to the reproductive organs of humans. Male shrimp have a protruding penis, and female shrimp have a circular genital organ that looks like a human vagina.
Many times I have compared the taste of male and female shrimp and always found that male shrimp have a firmer texture than female shrimp, which are juicer. Perhaps male shrimp are more active and build up a firmer body, and maybe hormones give female shrimp a tender taste. If you want to taste the difference, don’t use any seasoning like salt, sauce, spices or gravy.
This is not intended to be a joke. I think it’s an interesting little fact that not many people know about, and I just wanted to share it with you.
Source: ThisIsBy.Us (“A Website that Promotes Excellent Writing”). Amazing Shrimps (http://www.thisisby.us/index.php/content/amazing_shrimps). Thisayakorn. December 18, 2007.
California—Blue Horizon Organic Shrimp
Blue Horizon Organic Seafood Company in Aptos, California, USA, has signed an exclusive deal with Canada’s SunOpta, which sources, processes, packages and distributes organic and specialty foods, to put Blue Horizon’s branded organic shrimp meals and appetizers on freezer shelves in natural and specialty supermarkets across Canada. Blue Horizon gets its shrimp from organic farms in Honduras and Ecuador.
Information: Jaap Langenberg, Blue Horizon Organic Seafood Company (phone 510-295-9880, email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Sources: 1. BusinessWire.com. SunOpta Canadian Exclusive to Distribute Blue Horizon Organic Seafood (http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20071213006111&newsLang=en). December 13, 2007. 2. SunOpta’s webpage (http://www.sunopta.com). December 20, 2007.
Hawaii—USMSFP Gets Its Funding Back
On December 26, 2007, President Bush signed a $555-billion spending bill that includes $3.1 million for the United States Marine Shrimp Farming Program in fiscal year 2008.
After more than two decades of funding, the program lost its funding in fiscal year 2007.
Sources: 1. Los Angeles Times. Bush signs $555-billion spending bill (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/politics/la-na-bush27dec27,1,6840175.story?coll=la-news-politics-national&track=crosspromo). Johanna Neuman (email@example.com), James Gerstenzang (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Molly Hennessy-Fiske. December 27, 2007. 2. Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International, December 29, 2007.
Hawaii—A Low Cost Shrimp Production System
For several years, the Hawaii County Department of Research and Development has funded Jim Szyper’s work on a low-cost, small-scale, shrimp production system. The zero-exchange system, based on a “cheap-and-easy” design, utilizes a raceway tank, biofiltration, low-salinity artificial seawater and airlift aerators to circulate the water. A pipe frame supports shade cloth and other covers that isolate the tank from birds and other invaders that might carry diseases. With the use of a solar and wind-power system that Clyde Tamaru contributed under a USDA-supported project, the system can be operated “off the grid” in rural areas that don’t have electricity. The system could be used as an inexpensive quarantine facility at existing shrimp farms.
The system has been completed and is ready for its first production run. Szyper says, “We have just learned that our proposal...to the state Department of Agriculture has been accepted; we hope to begin work in early 2008. ...We’ll provide updates when the work gets going.”
Source: Hawaii Aquaculture News. Editor, Jim Szyper (phone 808-938-4872, email email@example.com). Hawaii Aquaculture Extension Program Extension Research/Shrimp Nearly Anywhere? Volume 1, Number 2, Page 4, December 2007.
Pollution Problems in the Shrimp Farming Industry
Rivers and natural drainage areas in the Mekong Delta, the heart of Vietnam’s shrimp farming industry, are severely contaminated with waste and sewage released from factories, homes and farms. Little is being done to curb the contamination. According to Pham Dinh Don, head of the Environment Protection Bureau in the region, some local authorities still give top priority to economic growth over environmental protection. Don says authorities often conduct only perfunctory assessments on projects before granting licenses to investors.
Don added that current waste treatment facilities were not able to handle the 456 million cubic meters of mud and waste that aquaculture ponds release every year.
In terms of farming, two million tons of chemical fertilizers and 500,000 tons of pesticides are utilized annually in the region. Currently there are no measures in place to treat the chemicals that leach into nearby water sources. The region also releases around 3,800 tons of medical wastes every year that have not been fully treated. In Ca Mau Province, analyses of water samples have shown alarming levels of contamination. In the Doc River, the content of coliform bacteria was 16 times higher than accepted safety levels, and in the Tac Van River, the iron content was twice that of allowable levels.
Source: GROWfish (Gippsland Aquaculture Industry Network, Inc., http://www.growfish.com.au/default.asp). GROWfish eNewsletter (firstname.lastname@example.org). Waterway pollution triggers red alert in Mekong Delta (http://www.growfish.com.au/content.asp?contentid=10621). December 17, 2007.
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