That was the message from Nguyen Quang Hung, Deputy Director of the Directorate of Fisheries, who acknowledges the country was lacking in deep water and ecosystem data.
He was speaking at the seminar themed "An ecosystem-based approach for sustainable marine fisheries and biodiversity in Vietnam" held in Hanoi on February 26.
The seminar’s aim was to focus on the investigation and exploration of biological resources in deep waters.
In the past, Vietnam lagged behind in data collection because of a lack of modern exploration equipment, ships and vehicles.
Hung told the seminar there was a large amount of funding available to carry out such surveys.
Nguyen Khac Bat, Director of the Institute of Seafood Research said marine resources were diverse and abundant, with a wide range from coastal waters to the high seas and deep sea.
“The marine fishery sector plays an important role in socio-economic development. Fishing has created livelihoods for millions of people,” he said.
“However, today, along with the development of fisheries and mining technology, the pressure of exploitation on high-economic valuable fishery resources and many species are over-exploited.”
Reducing fishing pressure was necessary to balance activities and resource resilience, he said.
At the seminar, coorganised by Newton Fund of UK, and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Institute of Seafood Research, the director said the institute had proposed a project "Survey marine biological resources in deep water in Vietnam" to MARD.
The project aims to investigate biological diversity, environmental and oceanographic characteristics in the country’s deep-sea waters, and exploring new markets for the industry.
It will also provide scientific information for adjusting marine fishing activities from coastal waters to offshore and deep-sea waters.
The project will carry out a deep-sea survey to assess the current status of biodiversity in deep-sea areas, including groups of organisms on the bottom and upper layer, assessing the abundance of marine sources.
It will also provide scientific information for offshore activities; study and propose appropriate fishing equipment for deep-waters exploitation.
The project is expected to be implemented in 2020 with the main funding sources from Official Development Assistance (ODA) and from the Vietnamese Government and non-governmental organizations.