Social responsibility essential to fisheries sector

Social responsibility and product quality are vital to increase the competitiveness of Vietnam’s fisheries sector, said an official at a workshop in Hanoi on July 15.

Nguyen Viet Manh, Head of the Vietnam Directorate General of Fisheries’ Scientific, Technological and International Cooperation Department, said social responsibility will not only benefit the sector but also ensure sustainable development and help protect the environment. 

Today, foreign consumers require numerous certified standards of social responsibility on Vietnamese aquatic products such as SA8000, BSCI, COSTCO, SMETA, METRO and WALMART. 

Yet the standards are pursued by only about 30% of processing factories and 10% of farming households. 

In the context of globalization and international integration, businesses that do not exercise social responsibility cannot approach foreign markets, Manh said. 

The workshop was organised by the International Collaborating Centre for Aquaculture and Fisheries Sustainability (ICAFIS), the Vietnam Fisheries Association and Oxfam Vietnam. 

With the support of Oxfam Vietnam, ICAFIS carried out research on practising social responsibility of fishing in Hai Phong city, Nghe An, Kien Giang, Ben Tre, Khanh Hoa and Binh Thuan provinces. 

Results show that social responsibility has yet to be incorporated into the fishing process, leading to a loss in fish catches. 

As such, ICAFIS is working on a draft code of principles on practising social responsibility in Vietnam, according to ICAFIS Director Le Thanh Luu.