Ministry proposes support for fishermen

The Office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development announced that on June 24, leaders of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs to provide support for six months for thousands of fishermen. Due to a sharp increase in petroleum, around 55 percent of fishing boats are staying ashore.
Ministry proposes support for fishermen  ảnh 1 Many fishing boats stay ashore because of increase in petroleum and oil

In this official dispatch, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that in the past time, the fishing industry has played an important role in the development of our country's agriculture, the fishing output in 2021 will reach 3.92 million tons and seafood export turnover reached US$3.435 billion.

The fishing industry has offered employment for more than 600,000 fishermen directly and nearly 4 million workers in coastal fisheries services. Additionally, fishing vessels at sea also play an important role in protecting the country's sovereignty over the sea and islands.

However, from December 2021 up to now, gasoline and oil prices have continuously increased and are expected to continue to have complicated developments in the near future, strongly affecting production, business, and daily life and social security of the people, including the coastal fishing community and the fishing industry.

According to the official dispatch signed by Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien, the country has 91,716 fishing vessels operating on the sea which consume an average of about 330 million liters of gasoline and oil per month, while the price of diesel 0.05S (the main fuel for fishing vessels) has increased by 65 percent. For instance, on December 25, 2021, the price of a liter of diesel 0.05S was only VND17,579 but by June 20, 2022, it was VND29,020 a liter, an increase of VND11,441 a liter.

Thus, fuel costs to ensure normal fishing activities increase by about VND 3,776 billion a month.

Worse, fuel costs usually account for 45 percent-60 percent of input costs for the production of fishing vessels, depending on each job.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development also said that due to the increase in fuel prices, the prices of other commodities for fishing activities increased by about 10 to 15 percent, leading to an increase in input costs from 35 percent to 48 percent while the price of seafood increased insignificantly.

Therefore, many fishing boats have been stopping fishing activities due to insufficient revenue to cover input costs, said Deputy Minister Phung Duc Tien. This seriously affected the income, life, and social security of fishermen who are unable to find suitable jobs on the shore and stoppage has had a negative impact on the supply chain of aquatic products for domestic consumption and export.

In order to remove difficulties, promptly support fishermen to ensure their life and income as well as ensure social security, stabilize the social situation in coastal communities, and create motivation to encourage fishermen to set sail for the country's sovereignty over seas and islands, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development proposed the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs to have policies to support social security for fishing boat crew.

At first, fishermen were given support for six months. The support level is according to the regional minimum wage applicable to employees specified in Decree No. 90/2019/ND-CP of the Government.