Vietnam determinedly boosts seafood industry

The People’s Committee of Soc Trang Province has just cooperated with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, related units to organize a conference themed ‘Resolving Difficulties for the Seafood Industry to Rise to the Top of the World’.

Farmers in Soc Trang Province are harvesting shrimp

General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers Truong Dinh Hoe informed that in the first 8 months of this year, the national seafood export turnover reached US$7.7 billion (a rise of 38 percent compared to this time last year). In particular, the shrimp, pangasius, and tuna export turnovers were $3 billion, $1.8 billion, and $729 million, respectively.

The Vietnam seafood industry is now facing the challenges of unpredictable impacts of climate change, drought and high salinity level, environmental pollution, the ‘yellow card’ from the European Commission for fishing in Vietnam, spontaneous and unstable development, over-exploitation compared to regeneration capacity, outdated working equipment, low performance and quality, high fuel prices, outdated breeding facilities and materials, dependence on foreign countries as to equipment and materials.

Chairman of Soc Trang Province People’s Committee Tran Van Lau stated that seafood farming and exploitation is an important method to earn a living for around 17 million citizens in 13 provinces of the Mekong Delta. This industry affects the life of over 50 percent of Soc Trang Province’s population, and thus is being the key economic sector here. Therefore, it is critical to improve the ways to farm and exploit seafood for a more sustainable short-term and long-term development.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan commented that the sea resources in Vietnam are rich but not unlimited. Hence, the reduction of exploitation and promotion of aquaculture is a better measure. To address problems in this industry, there must be close cooperation among stakeholders, be they farmers, exploiters, or seafood businesses.

According to the Directorate of Fisheries (under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), Vietnam's seafood industry from 2010 to 2021 achieved a good growth rate of over 5 percent a year. Notably, Vietnam accounts for 5.5 percent and 4.4 percent of the global import-export turnover and total output, respectively (the third in the world). The national export turnover of this industry in 2021 was $8.6 billion, contributing 3.4 percent to the agricultural GDP and providing jobs for nearly 4 million laborers.

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