Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — The fisheries sector needs to be restructured to develop sustainably and adapt to climate change and the country’s global integration, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường has said.
Speaking at a seminar in Nha Trang City on Thursday, he said fishing, preservation and processing all have shortcomings such as a lack of technology, resulting in low efficiency.
To ensure sustainable development, the sector should establish closed chains for catching fish up to permitted limits and increase processing and diversify products to add value, he said.
The sector should develop aquaculture using advanced techniques and adapt to climate change, he said.
He instructed the Directorate of Fisheries to review and adopt new preservation and processing technologies and instruct companies in their use.
The sector faces post-catch losses of 15 – 25 per cent, according to the directorate.
Most fishing boats use ice or salt or dry their catch to preserve their catch. More than 90 per cent of catches are preserved using ice.
Most boats have small wooden holds, which affect the quality of preservation.
Cường urged local governments to restructure their fishing to suit local conditions and ensure the safety of fishermen.
They should identify fisheries products that are popular in the domestic and foreign markets to make plans for fishing and processing based on such demand, he said.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vũ Văn Tám said the country may not be able to increase its catch in future but has to ensure preservation to reduce post-catch losses to about 10 per cent.
Seminar participants said the fish catches should be suitable for each region, adding that the northen gulf area and the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta region should focus on small open-sea fishes while the central and south-eastern regions should focus on large fishes.
The country had 109,622 fishing boats at the end of last year, according to the directorate.
In the first three months of this year they caught about 740,000 tonnes of fish, up 7 per cent from the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Fishermen have had bumper catches this year because of favourable weather conditions.
The country targets total catches of around 3.3 million tonnes this year and exports of US$3.3 billion worth of marine fisheries this year, mostly made up of tuna, cuttlefish and octopus. — VNS