Fisheries expect 10% annual growth

HCM CITY — The country’s aquaculture industry aims to achieve annual growth of 8-10 per cent until 2015, with export revenue estimated to reach US$6.7billion by 2015 and $8billion by 2020.

Speaking at a conference yesterday in HCM City, the former deputy Minister of Fishery, Nguyen Thi Hong Minh, said the Viet Nam Fishery Export Development Plan called for the country to develop the fishery sector into a large-scale production sector with high global competitiveness.

By 2015, fishery materials for processing exports is expected to reach 3.2-3.5 million tonnes, 2.5-2.6 million tonnes of which will come from local production and the remaining from imports, according to the plan.

In addition, by 2020, all export-processing establishments will meet international regulations on food and environment.

All processing firms will take part in production chains and carry out traces on the product’s source.

The industry will also focus on developing the processing industry to raise product value and improve the competitiveness of Vietnamese fishery products.

To achieve the target, the sector plans to maintain the area for tiger prawns and tra catfish farming, as well as improve farming technology to prevent disease and invest more on irrigation systems.

All shrimp and tra fish farms will meet the Best Aquaculture Practices standards or Good Agricultural Practices. Origin of the fish will be able to be traced.

In addition, the sector will increase production of seafood products that have high export potential, including anabas, scallops and crab.

The sector also aims to maintain output for marine capture at about 2 million tonnes per year, of which 490,000 tonnes will be used for processing exports.

It will also invest in post-harvest technology to raise value and quality.

Export markets

In the coming years, besides seeking new export markets, the industry would maintain the key export markets of the EU, Japan and the US, Minh said.

“The Middle East, North Africa, South Africa and western China are also markets with high potential,” said Nguyen Viet Manh from General Department of Seafood.

He also urged local firms to diversify their products in an effort to meet increasing demand from customers both in and outside the country.

Tran Thi Dung from the Institute of Fisheries Economics and Planning said the world seafood consumption per capita was estimated to increase by 0.4 per cent per year, creating big opportunities for local seafood exporters to increase exports.

However, the increasing imposition of technical and trade barriers to protect local production of importing countries would cause many difficulties for seafood export firms, she said.

Luong Le Phuong, deputy minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the fishery sector recorded remarkable achievement in the past years, bringing to the country billions in foreign currency from exports every year.

The sector had great potential to continue its current growth, but there were a number of challenges ahead to achieve sustainable growth for the sector, he said.

A lack of co-operation led to unhealthy competition among fishery enterprises and fraudulent practices reduced quality and harmed the prestige of Vietnamese fishery products in foreign markets.

Many delegates complained that State management policies to develop the sector focused on quantity rather than quality or depth.

They also asked the government to review policies that conflict and apply stricter fines or penalties to prevent fraudulent practices to deter habitual violators of the law. — VNS


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