According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, over 95.4 percent of the fish, or about 1.03 million tonnes, were caught at sea, up 2.8 percent year on year while 49,000 tonnes were captured from rivers.
However, the total tuna catches of the country’s largest tuna fleets in Phu Yen, Binh Dinh and Khanh Hoa provinces declined in January – April. The three provinces brought ashore a total of over 7,420 tonnes of tuna, down 14 percent from the same period last year. Binh Dinh reported the highest decrease of 18 percent to nearly 1,590 tonnes of tuna.
Meanwhile, the aquaculture output during the period exceeded 1 million tonnes, up 6 percent from the same time last year.
The Mekong Delta region harvested some 373,000 tonnes of tra fish, a year-on-year surge of 8 percent.
With tra fish fetching high prices, local farmers have rushed to dig ponds and breed more fish, leading to the scarcity of fish fry and increase in their prices.
In a stark contrast, farmers have been rushing off their feet to harvest shrimp for fear of price drop. Each kilogramme of white-leg shrimp is being sold at 110,000-120,000 VND (4.84- 5.28 USD), decreasing 10,000-20,000 VND (0.44-0.88 USD) per kg from the previous month.
The country earned some 2.4 billion USD from exporting aquatic products in the first four months of 2018, representing a year-on-year rise of 13 percent.
In April alone, the country raked in 650 million USD from the export of aquatic products.
The US, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea were the biggest importers in January-March, making up 52 percent of the Southeast Asian country’s total aquatic product exports. The highest growth was reported in the Netherlands (55.7 percent), China (44.6 percent) and the UK (33.8 percent).
In the four-month period, Vietnam imported 536 million USD worth of aquatic products, up 27.4 percent against the same period last year. Of the figure, 130 million worth of aquatic products were imported in April.
Aquatic product exports in 2018 are expected to exceed 8.5 billion USD, up about 3 percent compared to 2017, though Vietnam's exports to the US and EU markets will continue to be affected by catfish inspection, anti-dumping and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU), according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers.