HA NOI — US demand for Vietnamese tuna is expected to increase this year, the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Producers and Exporters (VASEP) announced.
The US must increase tuna imports from Asian countries because of restriction on tuna imports from Mexico, the association said.
Last year, the US was the largest export market for Vietnamese tuna. Viet Nam's export value of tuna to the US increased last year by 31.8 per cent to US$171 million against 2010.
Meanwhile, Viet Nam's total tuna export value reached $379.3 million in 2011, 29.4 per cent higher than the previous year, the association said.
Fishermen have had massive tuna hauls so far this year, the association said. However, tuna catches are subject to strict controls and must abide by the Agreement on International Migration of Fish, which comes under the Convention on International Law of the Sea.
When the fish migrate to Vietnamese waters, catches are subject to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). The international organisation strictly controls tuna catches worldwide, even though Viet Nam is not a member.
Vietnamese fishermen and tuna-exporting enterprises will face challenges selling their fish abroad, the association said, adding that Viet Nam should join the WCPFC to develop trade marks for Vietnamese tuna products.
Additionally, tuna-exporting enterprises should invest in cold-storage facilities and large fishing boats, while helping fishermen to reduce costs and boost efficiency.
Those enterprises should also expand export markets in co-operation with foreign partners, the association said. — VNS