|Fishermen load tuna on their boat
Close linkage between fishermen and businesses
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Directorate of Fisheries, thanks to a project to develop tuna value chain implemented by the ministry in the past five years, the tuna fishing and processing industry has enjoyed impressive achievements.
During 2014-2018, annual tuna output grew by an average 6 percent while tuna export increased by an average 7 percent each year. In the first nine months of 2019, Vietnam shipped over 550 million USD worth of tuna to foreign markets, a year-on-year increase of 16 percent.
Deputy Director General of the Directorate of Fisheries Nguyen Quang Hung said that the country has 25 ports serving tuna fishing vessels and 60 firms processing tuna for exports.
The tuna fishing fleet numbers nearly 48,000 offshore vessels, catching around 170,000 tonnes of tuna each year, or four times higher than the amount recorded in 2014, he added.
Besides making heavy investment in storage facilities, processors and exporters have paid due attention to increasing added value of the fish and promote export of processed tunas like tuna canned in oil, pouched tuna, and tuna fillet.
Vice Director of Binh Dinh province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Van Phuc laid stress on the significance of the close coordination among fishermen, purchasers, processors and exporters, saying it contributes greatly to the success of tuna sector.
Currently, the country has nine tuna value chains, four of which are in Binh Dinh province, two in Phu Yen and three in Khanh Hoa, he said, adding tuna fishermen are equipped with Japanese fishing tools.
Huge potential for tuna export
The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said the US and Europe have the largest demands for tuna. A survey by US-based firm Tri Marine, which is now owned by Italy’s Bolton Group showed that canned tuna, which is a key export item of Vietnam, is favoured over other tuna products in the US market.
This trend in the taste of foreign consumers is favourable for Vietnamese exporters.
However, as the world market is certain to fluctuate, Hung suggested the Government and competent ministries, sectors and branches to arrange resources to upgrade specialised fishing ports and developed tuna logistics services so that the tuna industry can maintain its momentum.
In addition, he said research institutes and universities should enhance scientific research and transfer fishing, processing and preserving technologies to fishermen and firms to improve tuna quality.