Ministry proposes investment in infrastructures to support fisheries sector

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), on June 10, held an online conference on solutions to improve the efficiency of fishing, processing, and consuming aquatic products in 2021.

According to the assessment, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to develop complicatedly in the world; the distribution channel of aquatic products has been broken and interrupted in many export markets; the prices of seafood products have decreased; the yellow card of the European Commission has not been removed. All these issues will continue to affect Vietnam's seafood export activities negatively in 2021. Although seafood export turnover was US$8.6 billion last year, and Vietnamese aquatic products have been available in 195 markets, these countries are also applying technical barriers to trade.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien said that the fishing industry has been drastically implementing the Law on Fisheries 2017 and the EC’s recommendations on combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU). Vietnam is also focusing on surveying resources, forecasting fishing grounds, strengthening management on fishing vessels, ensuring safety for fishermen and fishing vessels at sea, enhancing the management of infrastructure and fisheries logistics service.

Currently, the fishery is considered a pillar for the growth of the agricultural sector. However, it has not been adequately invested in infrastructures, such as fishing ports, fishing vessels, poor aquaculture planning, and a thin and weak fisheries system. Mr. Phung Duc Tien said that to meet the requirements of the export market, the fishing industry needs to accelerate the application of science and technology in breeding, farming, veterinary medicine, disease prevention, and post-harvest preservation. It is essential to restructure seafood processing and export enterprises following the circular economy model and the value chain. Along with that, if conservation is not done well, there will be no sustainable development resources for export. To achieve the goal of the “Strategy to develop the fisheries sector to 2030 with a vision to 2045" approved by the Prime Minister, all three tasks must be synchronously implemented, including exploitation, conservation, and aquaculture associated with processing.

According to Deputy Minister Phung Duc Tien, the MARD issued a resolution to increase public investment in fisheries infrastructure in the 2021-2025 period and is transferring it to the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) for appraisal and submission to the 15th National Assembly for consideration. The MARD has also proposed to the Government on loan projects for fisheries infrastructure. As for the action plan for shrimp farming and processing for export, the MARD will work with the MPI to borrow resources from the Asian Development Bank. If these funds are implemented, in the period 2021-2025, Vietnam's fisheries infrastructure will have significant changes, ensuring the basis of sustainable development of fisheries.