Fishing forecasts inaccurate - and late
Fishermen have had a bumper season in Phu Yen Province. However, they have to rely on their own experiences when heading offshore due to the country's inadequate fisheries forecasting. — VNA/VNS Photo The Lap
HA NOI — Viet Nam's fisheries forecasting was both inadequate and inaccurate, heard a meeting organised by the General Fisheries Department earlier this week.
Information provided quarterly by the Fisheries Research Institute to help fishermen know where, what and how much to fish is usually based on outdated statistics, according to former deputy director of the General Department of Fisheries Chu Tien Vinh.
As a result, fishermen were often forced to head offshore relying on their own experience, which led to smaller catches and wasted fuel, he said.
"Fisheries data are poor," said chairman of the Viet Nam Fisheries Society Nguyen Viet Thang. "Before 1975, our fishing area was smaller, and China and Russia helped us compile information that was more accurate than today."
Thang added that many fishermen refused to reveal information about their fishing grounds, so the General Fisheries Administration could not compile complete figures.
New fund to help fishermen
HCM CITY — A fund will be established to assist fishermen who have to brave risky conditions out at sea, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Viet Nam Fisheries Society (VINAFIS).
The new fund was announced at a joint press conference held in HCM City on Wednesday.
Chairman of VINAFIS Nguyen Viet Thang said there were 130,000 Vietnamese fishing vessels operating off the coast, and 4 million people who relied on fishing to make a living. These people often put their lives at risk during adverse weather conditions due to a lack of accurate information.
VINAFIS has appealed to the public to donate money to the fund. The General Fisheries Administration will also co-ordinate with HCM City Television to broadcast a programme on HTV9 in December to promote contributions to the new fund. — VNS
Le Tan Ban, director of Khanh Hoa's Department of Marine Resources, said his department had asked for a budget of VND600 million (US$28,600) a year to collect fishing data but had never been successful.
Fishermen in this coastal province have instead teamed up into groups of 5-7 vessels to share information.
Huynh Quang Huy, director of Ninh Thuan's Department of Marine Resources, also said: "A big budget is needed to provide fishermen with accurate reports and forecasts. If it is done, the people will benefit."—VNS