HCM CITY(VNS) — The first year of a four-year-long trial project on tuna fishing, buying, processing, and consumption has not yielded expected results, a meeting held in Khanh Hoa Province last Friday to review it heard.
Carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, and Khanh Hoa Provinces since August last year, the programme was aimed at efficiently and sustainably exploiting and using offshore tuna stocks and add value as part of efforts to industrialise and modernise the industry.
According to the Directorate of Fisheries, the project created linkages in the tuna value chain but they have been modest.
There was not much difference in terms of profits for both fishermen and businesses, discouraging both.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vu Van Tam said local authorities and other relevant agencies should focus on resolving problems to enable companies and farmers to develop co-operation models in all stages from fishing and buying to processing and selling.
Next year the project should focus on transferring modern exploitation and preservation technologies to local fishermen, and supporting businesses and fishermen in the import, transfer, and use of new technologies in tuna fishing, preservation and processing.
More than 91,300 tonnes of tuna was caught in the first 11 months of the year, the directorate said.
Exports of the fish fetched US$408.67 million as of November 15, a year-on-year decrease of 4.1 per cent. The US remained the biggest importer of Vietnamese tuna, followed by the EU, ASEAN, and Japan, it said.
Of the more than 2,000 tuna fishing vessels operating in the three provinces this year, 30 per cent incurred losses causing many fishermen to switch to fishing for other species.
Climate change and El Nino have pushed up the temperature of sea water, and tuna tend to migrate to the middle and the east of the Pacific Ocean.
This has caused stocks in the East Sea to dwindle, especially that of big-eye and yellow fin tunas. — VNS