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Is certification a viable option for small producer fish farmers in the global south? Insights from Vietnam


  • Marschke, Melissa
  • Wilkings, Ann


Aquaculture is the fastest growing global food system, providing nearly half of the world׳s seafood supply. A significant portion of aquaculture is produced in the global South and consumed in the North, with much of the production stemming from small producers in Asian countries. The rapid growth in this sector has led to a host of social, environmental and governance concerns, with certification emerging as one market governance response. This paper assesses the potential of certification for small producer shrimp farmers in Vietnam, examining the ways in which three standards operating in Vietnam focus on social, environmental, economic, and management dimensions of sustainability. Research findings suggest that aquaculture standards are not appropriate for small producers since much of the current criteria are not viable at this scale. A separate national standard customized specifically for small producers in Vietnam׳s aquaculture sector may be necessary. A set of guidelines is proposed as a starting point for discussions regarding small producer certification.

Suggested Citation

  • Marschke, Melissa & Wilkings, Ann, 2014. "Is certification a viable option for small producer fish farmers in the global south? Insights from Vietnam," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(PA), pages 197-206.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:marpol:v:50:y:2014:i:pa:p:197-206
    DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2014.06.010

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Vandergeest, Peter, 2007. "Certification and Communities: Alternatives for Regulating the Environmental and Social Impacts of Shrimp Farming," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1152-1171, July.
    2. Little, David C. & Bush, Simon R. & Belton, Ben & Thanh Phuong, Nguyen & Young, James A. & Murray, Francis J., 2012. "Whitefish wars: Pangasius, politics and consumer confusion in Europe," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 738-745.
    3. Belton, Ben & Haque, Mohammad Mahfujul & Little, David C. & Sinh, Le Xuan, 2011. "Certifying catfish in Vietnam and Bangladesh: Who will make the grade and will it matter?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 289-299, April.
    4. Tran, Nhuong & Bailey, Conner & Wilson, Norbert & Phillips, Michael, 2013. "Governance of Global Value Chains in Response to Food Safety and Certification Standards: The Case of Shrimp from Vietnam," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 325-336.
    5. Pérez-Ramírez, Mónica & Phillips, Bruce & Lluch-Belda, Daniel & Lluch-Cota, Salvador, 2012. "Perspectives for implementing fisheries certification in developing countries," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 297-302, January.
    6. Masahiro Kagawa & Conner Bailey, 2006. "Trade Linkages in Shrimp Exports: Japan, Thailand and Vietnam," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 24(3), pages 303-319, May.
    7. BΘnΘ, C. & Chijere Asafu, D.G. & Allison, E.H. & Snyder, K., 2012. "Design and implementation of fishery modules in integrated household surveys in developing countries," Working Papers, The WorldFish Center, number 39853, November.
    8. Bush, Simon R. & Toonen, Hilde & Oosterveer, Peter & Mol, Arthur P.J., 2013. "The ‘devils triangle’ of MSC certification: Balancing credibility, accessibility and continuous improvement," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 288-293.
    9. Vo Loc & Simon Bush & Le Sinh & Nguyen Khiem, 2010. "High and low value fish chains in the Mekong Delta: challenges for livelihoods and governance," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 12(6), pages 889-908, December.
    10. Tran Thi Thu Ha & Simon R Bush, 2010. "Transformations of Vietnamese shrimp aquaculture policy: empirical evidence from the Mekong Delta," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 28(6), pages 1101-1119, December.
    11. Armitage, Derek & Marschke, Melissa & van Tuyen, Truong, 2011. "Early-stage transformation of coastal marine governance in Vietnam?," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 703-711, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. von Braun, Joachim & Mirzabaev, Alisher, 2015. "Small Farms: Changing Structures and Roles in Economic Development," Discussion Papers 210464, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    2. Thi Huong Tran, 2018. "Critical factors and enablers of food quality and safety compliance risk management in the Vietnamese seafood supply chain," Papers 1805.12109,
    3. Bachev, Hrabrin, 2015. "A study on market inclusion through enhanced eco-management in Bulgarian farms," MPRA Paper 65309, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. repec:eco:journ1:2019-01-5 is not listed on IDEAS


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