Viet Nam News
BÌNH THUẬN— Government Decree 67 on preferential policies for aquaculture has helped fishermen in the south central coastal province of Bình Thuận access loans to build high-capacity ships for offshore fishing.
Eighty-nine offshore fishing vessels with engine capacities between 400CV and 800CV have been built thanks to loans provided under the decree, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
To save transport costs, the province has also encouraged building ships that would buy seafood directly from fishing vessels and process the seafood and other materials.
Currently, the province has more than 110 ships for these services. The 450CV to 700 CV-ships have modern equipment.
Under Decree 67, which took effect in July 2014, loans with the interest rate of 7 per cent per year, have been provided for fishermen to build ships with steel or new materials (other than wood) and engine capacities of between 400CV and 800CV. Those loans often make up 90 per cent of the total funds needed to build an offshore fishing vessels.
Since 2015, the province has provided total loans worth over VNĐ900 billion (US$39 million) for local fishermen to build new ships and upgrade their low-capacity ships.
As of April, the province had approved loans to 179 loan application documents for building fishing ships.
Of the province’s 7,000 fishing ships more than 2,700 each having the capacity of 90CV and above are being used for offshore fishing.
The province’s fishing grounds are mostly in the Trường Sa Archipelago in the East Sea and near the DK1 marine defense platform.
Nguyễn Hưng of Tam Thanh Commune in the province’s Phú Quý Island was a pioneer in building new ships under the decree.
He said that owning a ship with high capacity and modern devices was the dream of many fishermen.
In the past, with low-capacity boats, he could fish only around the island, but now, with his new ship, he can reach the Trường Sa Archipelago and the DK1 marine defense platform.
Châu Minh Cương, who also lives in Tam Thanh Commune, said he began using his new ship one year ago to fish at the DK1 marine defense platform. He earns a profit of VNĐ100 million (US$4,385) after every trip.
Cương said he and his friends were planning to build more high-capacity ships.
The province’s seafood production last year was nearly 213,000 tonnes, an increase of 4.4 per cent compared to 2016.
Phạm Văn Nam, vice chairman of Bình Thuận Province’s People’s Committee, said the new ships built under the decree are of good quality and have helped raise income.
He said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should increase the quota for new shipbuilding in the province.
The province also plans to expand fisheries trade unions, protect fishing grounds and regenerate aquatic sources.—VNS