Viet Nam News
HCM CITY – The Mekong Delta province of Cà Mau is building high-capacity fishing ships as part of its push to develop its sea-based economy.
Châu Công Bằng, deputy director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the province would focus on catching fish and other aquatic species that have high value.
The province, which has a sea area of 80,000 sq.km, currently has more than 4,720 registered fishing ships.
To improve their catches, the province has encouraged fishermen to build high-capacity fishing boats with soft loans or from their own money.
These boats will be able to travel farther offshore.
The number of fishing ships in the province will fall to 4,500 by 2025, and then continue to reduce by 2030. The fishing output will also drop from now to 2025, and then remain stable until 2030, according to Bằng.
Lê Văn Thiệt, one of the first fishermen in Trần Văn Thời District’s Sông Đốc Town who built a high-capacity fishing ship from his own money, said the quantity of fish and other aquatic species in fishing grounds near shore had declined, but the number of ships remained high.
Because of the declining quantity of fish near shore, many fishermen have to go further offshore to catch a large quantity of fish and other aquatic species, especially larger, high-value fish such as tuna.
“More fishermen in Sông Đốc Town have been building high-capacity fishing ships to go further offshore,” he said.
Trần Văn Thời District has more than 2,400 fishing boats. Of the figure, more than 1,300 have the capacity of fishing offshore.
Sử Văn Minh, deputy chairman of the Trần Văn Thời District People’s Committee, said fishing is the district’s key economic sector.
Fishermen in the district catch more than 115,000 tonnes of fish and other aquatic species a year.
Under Government Decree 67 issued in 2014, fishermen who upgrade their fishing ships or build high-capacity fishing ships will be provided loans worth up to 90 per cent of their cost.
The province’s People’s Committee has given approval for loans to build 91 new ships for fishing and logistic services.
Banks have provided loans to fishermen to build 32 new ships with a total cost of VNĐ356 billion so far.
Of the 32 fishing boats, 23 are offshore fishing ships and nine are ships that provide logistic services on sea for fishing ships.
Nguyễn Thành Kính of Năm Căn District’s Năm Căn Town was provided a soft loan under Government Decree 67 to build a new fishing ship with an engine capacity 800CV for fishing offshore. His fishing ship cost more than 12 billion (US$514,000).
“To modernise fishing, the key issue is investing in high-capacity fishing ships to fish offshore,” he said.
The province’s major fishing methods are gillnet, straw and purse seine fishing.
The province this year began installing black boxes that monitor trips on fishing ships that are longer than 15 metres.
The boxes monitor fishing areas, support the task of search and rescue in case of accidents or natural disasters, and record the origin of caught fish.
The installation of black box devices on 1,500 fishing ships is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Last year, local fishermen caught more than 209,000 tonnes of fish and other aquatic species, contributing a large part to the province’s seafood exports.
To further develop its sea-based economy, the province is co-operating with colleges and universities to train human resources in fishing, aquaculture, seafood processing, seaports and transportation.
The province is seeking investment in Hòn Khoai, Năm Căn and Sông Đốc seaports, and developing fishery logistic services and sea tourism.– VNS