Social significance of supporting research education and environmental protection: The Can Tho University Improvement Project

Yuzuru Utsunomiya,Associate Professor
Faculty of Economics

From an economic and societal perspective, we examined sustainable shrimp farming and agroforestry with the Can Tho University research team.

Soc Trang Province is situated in the southern part of Vietnam in the Mekong Delta. Mo O is a small habitation in the Soc Trang Province and there we can see a shrimp farm-intensive (high density farming) style in the ponds. Shrimp farm-ponds obtain and drain water to the surrounding canals. Canal water quality is a matter of life or death for shrimp farming. Mudflats are the only ecosystem with a water purification function around the canal. It is believed that the mudflats’ resilience contributes to the shrimp farming industry.

Shrimp production in Vietnam and Japan
Shrimp production in the Soc Trang Province represents nearly 13% of the gross production amount in Vietnam, with a majority of that shrimp being exported abroad.

According to the “Trade Statistics of Japan” created by the Ministry of Finance, import figures of Vietnamese shrimp tops the list of import value for Japan. We can see that a large amount of shrimp is exported from Vietnam to Japan and other countries.

Nature reserve plan in Mo O
Shrimp farming is an industry with many issues such as environmental degradation, disease, and price decline. These issues occur in many places and are caused by overcrowded breeding.

What we can do for the mudflats environmental protection in Mo O is produce useful research results. Nagasaki University Professor Atsushi Ishimatsu (of the Faculty of Fisheries) explained the current situation of biocenose and biodiversity in Mo O to the Federation of Economic Organizations, which is concerned with environmental conservation. That was the start of conducting further research on biodiversity and social function in mudflats. Also, we are planning an awareness campaign against plastic waste. We hope that Mo O will become a nature reserve in the future.

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