Tiền Giang fishing boats go out to sea after months as fuel becomes cheaper

October, 12/2022 - 08:00
More and more fishing boats in Tiền Giang Province are going out to sea again after stopping for months due to losses caused mainly by high fuel prices.
Fishing boats dock at Vàm Láng fishing port in Tiền Giang province’s Gò Công Đông District. – VNA/VNS Photo Minh Trí

TIỀN GIANG – More and more fishing boats in Tiền Giang Province are going out to sea again after stopping for months due to losses caused mainly by high fuel prices.

Trịnh Công Minh, deputy director of the province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said fuel prices had reduced sharply and fishermen are again earning money.

Around 80 per cent of boats had resumed operations, up from 50 per cent early this year, he said.

Boat owners had previously also faced difficulties like shortage of fishermen and declining seafood resources.

The price of fuel had increased by 40-50 per cent earlier this year, which meant a boat suffered a loss of around VNĐ90 million (US$3,800) per trip, according to the province's Fisheries Sub-department.

Gò Công Đông District, which has the largest number of offshore fishing boats in the province – 668 – saw 256 of them stop fishing.

Trần Văn O, owner of two offshore fishing boats in Gò Công Đông, said after diesel prices declined, fishing boats could earn a profit of VNĐ70-80 million ($2,900-3,300) per trip.

In the past, before fuel prices increased, they earned VNĐ100-150 million ($4,200-6,300), he said.

Fuel accounts for 70-80 per cent of the costs, according to boat owners.

Following the decline in diesel prices authorities are encouraging owners to renovate and equip their boats for offshore fishing, and are inspecting fuel retailers to ensure there is no price gouging.

They are also instructing owners and captains to strictly follow fishing regulations, and collaborating with southern provinces and other relevant authorities to prevent illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province has installed vessel monitoring systems on 958 offshore fishing boats. Those with a length of at least 15 metres are required to install them.

Fishermen in the province caught 109,000 tonnes of seafood in the first nine months of this year, and the target for the year is 152,200 tonnes, up 1.2 per cent from last year, according to the People’s Committee. – VNS

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