HA NOI — Viet Nam recorded a 23.1 per cent year-on-year increase in value of tuna exports in the first three months, compared to the same period last year, bringing it to a total of US$101 million, according to the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).
|Farmers in the central province of Phu Yen prepare tuna to deliver to factories for processing. Viet Nam recorded a 23.1 per cent increase in value of tuna exports in the first quarter of this year. — VNA/VNS Photo The Lap
This year, by mid-March, tuna exports to two African nations, Tunisia and Sudan, reached record highs, increasing by 809.9 per cent, to US$797,000, and 729.8 per cent, to US$1.19 million, respectively.
Other major export markets also grew, including the European Union (36.7 per cent), Japan (90.6 per cent) and Israel (95.6 per cent).
Within the EU, Germany was the largest export market for Viet Nam's tuna products, accounting for 70 per cent of Vietnamese tuna exports there. By mid-March exports to Germany were up by 87.8 per cent from the beginning of the year.
Last year, tuna exports to Germany increased by 65.3 per cent, to $19.48 million, compared to the year before.
Meanwhile, the total value of Viet Nam's tuna exports reached $379.3 million in 2011, a year-on-year rise of 29.4 per cent, the association said.
Fishermen have had a massive tuna harvest this year, according to the association. On the other hand, all catches are subject to strict controls in accordance to the Agreement on International Migration of Fish, which falls under the Convention on International Law of the Sea.
When the fish migrate into Vietnamese waters, catches are still subject to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). Even though Viet Nam is not a member of the organisation, there are still strict regulations on tuna catches.
Vietnamese fishermen, along with tuna exporters, will face challenges in the exportation of their products, said the association. They recommend that Viet Nam join the WCPFC to develop a trademark for Vietnamese tuna products.
Additionally, tuna-exporting enterprises should invest in cold-storage facilities and larger fishing boats, as well as help fishermen reduce cost and increase efficiency.
Those enterprises should also attempt to infiltrate new markets in co-operation with foreign partners, the association said. — VNS