In an urgent message, head of the directorate Tran Huu Linh instructed officials in Lang Son, Lao Cai, Cao Bang and Quang Ninh to enhance supervision on the trade and consumption of crawfish.

The red-claw crawfish is not on the list of aquatic species eligible for trade in Vietnam.

He asked authorities to collaborate with local customs and border forces to scan key transport routes to prevent imports of the species.

The directorate would also inspect supermarkets, seafood stores, restaurants and hotels that served crawfish in big cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and Hai Phong. Violators would be fined, Linh said.

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The Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance said it would tighten inspections along northern border provinces to prevent the import of banned red-claw crawfish into Vietnam. Photo: cafef.vn

It would cooperate with police and inspectors from the departments of aquaculture, agriculture and rural development, and the management boards of local markets to stop the trade.

Earlier, officers at the Lao Cai International Border Gate found and seized 75kg of red-claw crawfish hidden in toy boxes on May 19.

On May 11, 300kg of crawfish were stopped in Lao Cai province’s Ban Lau commune.

Red-craw crawfish is considered an invasive alien species. It could harm the country’s bio-diversity and agricultural production as it can eat both live and dead animals and plants.

Crawfish can also easily carry and spread disease to shrimp, and can burrow in and destroy dykes.

Crawfish is sold for between 200,000-300,000 VND (8.3-12.5 USD) per kilo. It is mainly imported from China and the US.

Source: VNA