Viet Nam News
BẠC LIÊU -The Bạc Liêu Province People’s Committee has approved a plan to restructure the province’s fisheries sector, aiming to increase the average annual income in the fisheries sector to VNĐ92.3 million (US$4,100) per person by 2020, up 1.4 times against last year.
Black-tiger shrimp, white-legged shrimp and sea crabs are the province’s key aquatic species.
The province plans to breed blue-legged spawn, dragon fish, marble goby, clams, oysters and other aquatic species.
Models of farming aquatic species meeting global and Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) standards will be expanded.
Under the plan, the Mekong Delta province will have an annual aquaculture output of 370,000 tonnes, including 147,000 tonnes of shrimp by 2020.
The area devoted to breeding brackish-water shrimp will increase from 127,450 ha last year to more than 131,750 by 2020.
The plan also targets to increase the number of fishing boats from 1,264 last year to 1,450 fishing boats, including 650 off-shore fishing boats, by 2020.
Bạc Liêu will gradually reduce catching fish near shore and develop off-shore fishing, targeting a catch of 120,000 tonnes of fish and other aquatic species by 2020.
The province plans to develop fishing logistics services on sea and at fishing ports, and use advanced techniques in fishing and storage in order to reduce post-harvest losses in fishing from the current 20 per cent to 10 per cent by 2020.
Storm shelters, including Cái Cùng, Nhà Mát and Gành Hào storm shelters, will be built for fishing boats.
The plan will cost more than VNĐ6.4 trillion (US$290 million) from the Government budget, provincial budget and other sources.
Bạc Liêu, one of the country’s largest shrimp producers, produces shrimp of high quality.
Besides the industrial shrimp farming model, the province has other shrimp farming models, including intensive and semi-intensive shrimp farming, organic shrimp farming in submerged forest areas, and a model of rotating rice-shrimp and other aquatic species on the same field.
The province has about 30,500 ha of rice-shrimp rotating area, according to the provincial People’s Committee.
The model of rotating shrimp-rice cultivation on the same field in Bạc Liêu has helped farmers have stable incomes and improved environmental protection.
Many farmers in Hồng Dân District, for instance, said they had not suffered losses after applying the model of rotating shrimp-rice cultivation.
Farmer Trần Văn Hạnh in Hồng Dân District said his family’s income was stable and the lives of his family had improved since he rotated one rice crop and two shrimp crops a year.
“This model has helped improve shrimp cultivation. Shrimp rarely have disease and grow rapidly,” he said.
Lương Ngọc Lân, director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), said Bạc Liêu would focus on developing aquaculture and aim to turn the province into the country’s capital for industrial shrimp farming.
Bạc Liêu will also build roads, water supply, sewage and power lines for 12,000 ha of intensive and semi-intensive shrimp farming areas.
To attract investors, infrastructure will also be built in shrimp-fry producing areas.
Bạc Liêu plans to breed more than 120,000ha of shrimp this year.
To meet this year’s target, the DARD has told farmers to focus on releasing shrimp fry into ponds for breeding this month.
Dương Thành Trung, chairman of the province’s People’s Committee, has told DARD to urgently prepare conditions for clean aquaculture models and inspect shrimp fry quality, veterinary medicine and animal foods.
The DARD also was asked to draft criteria for farms that produce aquatic species fries.
Higher catch this year
Bạc Liêu fishermen have caught more than 56,720 tonnes of fish and other aquatic species this year, up 103 per cent against the same period last year.
Trần Văn Bửu, owner of a fishing boat in Đông Hải District’s Gành Hào Town, said there were fewer rough seas than in previous years, so fishing was good.
“If diesel oil prices remain stable, fishermen will have profits,” he said.
Most fishing boat owners in Bạc Liêu borrow money from fish traders to buy diesel oil and ice and pay hired fishermen for their fishing trips.
Mai Thành Học, a fishing boat owner in Gành Hào Town, said the cost for fishing trips was high so fishing boat owners must borrow loans.
In addition, fishermen can only sell their catch to traders and cannot sell directly to seafood processors.
Nguyễn Trường Hận, head of the Đông Hải District Agriculture and Rural Development Bureau, said: “This year, there is favourable weather, declining fuel prices and stable seafood prices, so fishermen have had profits.”
He said that Đông Hải was seeking more investment for infrastructure to develop fishing and build seafood processing plants. — VNS