Harmful Chinese species multiply in Vietnam
State management agencies and scientists have issued warnings about the damages to the economy and environment brought by harmful invasive species in Vietnam.
1/ Tom hum do (red lobster), or Procambarus clarkia, has been found in Dong Thap province. An enterprise in the province leased land for growing lotus and breeding shrimp.
Locals call the aggressive shrimp’10 pincer shrimp’. It has two strong forelegs which can break rice in half.
The import of red lobster is prohibited. According to Nguyen Quang Huy, deputy head of the Aquaculture Institute No 1, the shrimp does not have high economic value, while it can destroy crops if not well controlled. However, it still has been bred in many localities and sold at VND180,000-250,000 per kilo. The shrimp is considered a specialty food at restaurants.
Nguyen Dinh Hoe from VACNE (Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment), said that the species not only damages rice and kills native shrimp, but also communicates diseases to living organisms, including people.
The Dong Thap provincial authorities on February 9 released a decision on killing all alien red lobster farmed in the province.
2/ The movement of breeding Chinese cockroaches (Eupolyphaga sinensis) arose months ago in Bac Ninh province. Local farmers bred the cockroach as they were told that it could help treat diseases and be used as an anesthetic. Chinese businessmen promised to come to Vietnam to help them build farms and show farming techniques.
MARD then said that imports and farming of Eupolyphaga sinensis were illegal and prohibited. Cockroaches can transmit a number of diseases, such as diarrhea and cholera.
3/ In early 2015, state agencies in the Lang Son and Quang Ninh border areas discovered consignments of worms carried from China across the border gates. In Vietnam, the worms were sold to bird breeders.
According to Nguyen Xuan Hong from MARD, the worm is classified as a pest which can multiply rapidly and cause damage to crops.
4/ In 1965-1970, caterpillars (Arna pseudoconspersa) caused severe outbreaks in the pine forests in Quang Ninh and Bac Giang and since then, it has been listed as harmful. The caterpillar prevention campaign, however, met difficulties.
According to VACNE, the caterpillar which damages pine trees belongs to the butterfly family, and its natural biome is in the southern provinces of China. It began invading Vietnam in 1950s.
The spread of the alien species is now believed to be one of the biggest threats to ecology and economy in the world in general and Vietnam in particular, directly and indirectly affecting human health and ecosystems. It becomes more severe due to climate change.
Bao Han, VNN