Last year, the country earned US$6 billion from seafood exports, up 19.6 percent compared to the figure of 2010, with tra fish alone contributing US$1.5 billion.
Speaking at a recent conference, Vu Van Tam, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and Head of the Directorate of Fisheries, emphasized that 2011 was the first year of the implementation of the sector’s ten-year development strategy till 2020. Its recent positive results have opened up bright prospects in the years to come, he added.
Vietnam’s total aquaculture breeding area expanded to 1,093 hectares in 2011, and the figure is expected to reach 1,110 hectares by the end of this year.
Tam pointed out some shortcomings in the fishery sector, such as low quality of varieties, poor management work and abuse of chemicals. In addition, the sector is facing a severe shortage of food for aquaculture breeding. At present, it has to import 50 percent of input materials to produce food for fish and shrimp.
To make a breakthrough, Tam said, it is essential to build a new model of sustainable development by increasing added values, boosting the exploration of ocean tuna fish and promote seafood processing for export.
In 2012, the fishery sector aims for a total output of 5.35 million tonnes, with a focus on farm breeding models and new varieties. To ensure sustainable development, according to Tam, due attention should be paid to improving production activities, regulations on aquaculture breading, seafood processing and protection of marine sources to ensure sustainable development.
Under the Prime Minister’s instruction, the fishery sector will make use of its competitive advantages and attract more foreign direct investment (FDI). It will also increase its market forecast capacity and modernize fishing vessels.