PHUKET: In order to help the island’s suffering shrimp farmers, the Phuket Provincial Internal Trade Office (PITO) yesterday set up a “Blue Flag Shrimp Festival” to sell the tasty crustaceans directly to consumers for just 99 baht per kilogram until the end of September.
PITO Chief Somphot Sangkhapong told the Gazette that some 1,500 kilograms of Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vanamei) are harvested daily in the province.
“We have about 30 shrimp farms in Phuket, almost all of them in Thalang. Most of these switched from raising giant tiger prawns to Pacific white shrimp, but now there is a glut in the market and prices have fallen,” K. Somphot said.
The problem in Phuket reflects a nationwide trend, with decreasing export sales and domestic production continuing to rise all across the country.
As this went to press, Thai shrimp exporters were preparing to lodge two complaints with the World Trade Organization against the US, Thailand’s biggest export market, alleging unfair trade practices.
Thai Frozen Foods Association president Poj Aramwattanont said that last year, exports from Thailand reached 193,764 metric tons, three times that from China, the second-biggest supplier.
But in the first two months of this year, total exports were just 1,593 tons, a 95% decline.
K. Somphot urged the public to take advantage of the low prices and encouraged restaurants, hotels and food shops to add shrimp dishes to their menus.
The “Blue Flag Shrimp Festival” will take place at two locations:
-The Esso service station on Thepkrasattri Rd, near Supercheap, open daily from 8 am to 1 pm.
-The Phuket Provincial Commercial Affair Office, opposite Seng Ho Bookstore on Montri Rd in Phuket City., open Monday to Friday, 3 pm to 6 pm.
People wanting to place large orders with the Phuket Shrimp Farmer Club can do so by calling 086-6835869 or 081-7978713.
Click here for our PGTV report.
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