|Offshore fishing boats in Bình Thuận Province. — VNS Photo Văn Châu|
HCM CITY — Fish catches are gradually recovering after the Covid-19 outbreak in central provinces, according to local fishermen.
Lê Thị Bích Liên, a seafood trader in Bình Thuận Province, said in recent days the Phan Thiết fishing port has been a hub of activity with many kinds of seafood including yellow stripe trevally, mackerel, squid, and other local species being brought constantly from the sea by fishermen.
“Due to the return of tourists to Phan Thiết, the consumption of seafood has increased, leading to an increase in prices from last month.”
Phan Văn Nam, a fisherman in the province’s La Gi Commune, said: “I am very happy because during this trip the cost of petrol and oil were very low, the catch was big and seafood prices were up.”
Traders are now paying VNĐ50,000 (US$2.2) for a kilogramme of skipjack tuna, VNĐ10,000 higher than 10 days ago, he said.
After unloading their catch he and his crew plan to set sail again immediately to take advantage of the rich pickings at sea and low fuel prices, he said.
According to the province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, herrings, shrimps, shellfish, scallops, and specks are appearing in many areas, fishermen are entering the South Fish Season, the prices of petrol and oil are cheap, and so they expect a big profit.
Fishermen in neighbouring Phú Yên Province are getting ready to fish tuna since the Covid-19 situation in South Korea and China is under control and import demand there will gradually recover.
According to a report by the Việt Nam Research Institute for Marine Fisheries, fish migration to Vietnamese waters is huge this season, and fishermen should use technological tools like magnetic compass, GPS and sonar to improve their catch. If the migratory fishes are optimally exploited, the country's target of 3.95 million tonnes of seafood this year would be achieved, it said.
The two provinces plan to continue upgrading their fishing ports and storm shelters, developing logistics services for fishing and diversifying processed fish products to add value.
The two provinces would use soft loans from central and local governments to help fishermen build high-capacity boats for offshore fishing, the institute said. — VNS