Tech application critical to modernising offshore fishing fleet

Policies on and outcomes of technology application in offshore fishing activities were spotlighted at a forum in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang on June 26 towards modernising the offshore fishing fleet.

The Government’s support policies have helped develop offshore fishing, ease exploitation pressure on inshore waters and create more jobs, thus improving fishermen’s livelihoods, said Pham Ngoc Tuan – Deputy Director of the Aquatic Resources Exploitation and Protection Department under the Directorate of Fisheries. 

Policy incentives have also encouraged fishermen in Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Kien Giang and Ca Mau to use advanced preservation techniques to reduce post-fishing losses and ensure product quality, he added. 

Fourteen of the 28 coastal provinces and cities across Vietnam have built communication stations on the mainland and equipped fishing boats with communication systems. 

They have installed 7,000 single-sideband equipment pieces on vessels to update workers on weather patterns. Meanwhile, 3,000 fishing boats have also been supported with satellite tracking devices under MOVIMAR, a cooperation project with France, the forum heard. 

Participants also highlighted the cage trap developed by the Institute for Marine Science and Fishing Technology of Nha Trang University. The invention, transferred to fishermen in Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Quang Ngai and Khanh Hoa provinces, is said to be able to catch more seafood and is environmentally friendly. 

However, offshore fishing in Vietnam still faces numerous difficulties, such as the low mechanisation level, said Deputy Head of the Kien Giang University Duong Minh Chuan. 

He continued to say that fishermen work based on their experiences and are not willing or able to apply science-technology advances. Meanwhile, their seafood quality is deemed low due to old-fashioned preservation methods, especially keeping products in ice or salt. 

Crew members have not received appropriate training to operate large and modern vessels, he noted, adding the underdeveloped fishery logistics services. 

At the forum, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam said the ministry has devised solutions to existing problems such as asking the Government for aid in procuring high frequency radio devices, continuing to support the building of high-capacity ships, and promoting technology application in fishing and preservation activities.
VNA