Viet Nam News
NINH THUẬN — The south-central province of Ninh Thuận has developed its maritime economy by focusing on fishing efficiently, aquaculture and seafood processing while also protecting the environment.
The maritime economy played an important role in the province’s economy and grew by an average of 11.2 per cent between 2007 and 2017.
Phạm Đồng, director of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment, said resources were mobilised from various sources to invest in infrastructure and production in coastal areas.
During the decade, the province spent more than VNĐ8.3 trillion (US$357.5 million) on infrastructure and production in coastal areas from its resources and funds raised by issuing Government bonds.
Its fishing ports such as Đông Hải, Ninh Chữ and Cà Ná, and Mỹ Tân fish station have been upgraded and now have the capacity to accommodate 3,200 fishing boats at a time.
Ninh Thuận has become the country’s largest shrimp breed producer. The quantity of shrimp fry it produces annually increased from 6.1 billion in 2007 to 24.9 billion in 2017. It had set a target of 16-18 billion by 2020.
There has been a lot of investment in industry in coastal areas, including salt making and seafood processing.
Trịnh Minh Hoàng, director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the marine economy provided more than 43,000 jobs, or 12.6 per cent of the province’s total number.
The lives of coastal residents had improved, he said.
However, the province’s potential has yet to be fully exploited and maritime infrastructure is inadequate, according to Hoàng.
The province expects the maritime economy to account for 38-40 per cent of its economy in 2020.
It seeks to mobilise VNĐ19-20 trillion ($818-862 million), including VNĐ5-5.5 trillion from its coffers and ODA loans to invest in the maritime economy by 2020.
The province has taken many measures to develop sustainable fishing by encouraging fishermen to upgrade and build high-capacity fishing boats with modern facilities.
It has also given them training to improve their efficiency.
As of last month, local fishermen had built 43 new high-capacity boats at a total cost of VNĐ489 billion ($21 million) under the Government’s fisheries development policies, according to the province’s Fisheries Sub-department.
They had also upgraded 194 fishing boats last year to increase capacity.
The province’s high-capacity fishing boats have modern equipment for navigation and locating fish.
Đặng Văn Tín, head of the sub-department, said thanks to the Government’s policies, the province had 20-metre-long fishing boats with steel or composite hulls and engines of more than 800hp for the first time.
The high-capacity fishing boats had helped increase catches significantly, he said.
Besides, high-value fish and other species accounted for a large proportion of the catches, he said.
The province has more than 105km of coastline.
It is one the country’s four largest fisheries producers with a diverse range of species, many of high value such as tuna.
Tín said the province had strengthened offshore fishing and switched to environment-friendly methods such as gillnet and purse seine fishing this year.
The province would continue to upgrade its fishing ports and storm shelters, develop logistics services for fishing and diversify processed fish products to add value.
It would use soft loans from the central and local governments to support fishermen with building high-capacity fishing boats for offshore fishing.
According to Tín, the province has established 162 fishing co-operative groups with a total of 918 boats. The members of each fishing co-operative group co-operate to fish, transport the fish to land and exchange information about the market and fishing grounds.
To encourage fishermen to expand their fishing grounds this year, the sub-department is assigning engineers to go fishing with them off Trường Sa (Spratly) Islands and the provinces of Bình Thuận, Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu and Kiên Giang.
The engineers provide advice on fishing techniques and legal regulations to improve their efficiency and gradually reduce their habit of fishing near shore.
The province targets catches of more than 113,000 tonnes this year, 65-70 per cent offshore. — VNS