Pham Quang Toan, Director of the Department of Planning and Finance, Directorate of Fisheries, said that in 2019, the greatest difficulty is that the catfish and shrimp sectors had faced many challenges when raw material prices fell. Meanwhile, rising fuel prices and technical barriers of some importing countries have greatly affected exports.
However, this industry still achieved a high growth rate. The production of aquaculture and fisheries exploitation increased significantly. This could be considered as “bright star in the night sky” of the aquaculture industry in 2019. The growth rate of aquaculture production value reached 6.25% compared to 2018. Total production increased by 4.9%. Mr. Tran Dinh Luan, Director-General of the General Department of Fisheries, said that from the beginning of March to September 2019, shrimp prices dropped due to a number of competitive reasons from India and Ecuador's exports and inventories from 2018, while China began tightening quality control and the US-China trade war was unpredictable.
In such situation, the General Department of Fisheries has precisely evaluated the market situation, timely directed the production and consumption of shrimp, gave recommendations to shrimp farmers to adhere to farming techniques and conduct joint cooperation to link production to markets, reducing risks. In general, shrimp farming area was estimated to reach 720 thousand
Catfish sector also faced with many difficulties. Farming area in some localities increased, leading to oversupply. Export turnover to the US and China started to decline from March 2019. Saudi Arabia still refuses to import Vietnamese seafood. Some markets have strongly developed pangasius farming, leading to lower raw material prices from the end of March.
>>> Fishery industry
2019 continued to witness a good growth in marine farming, with an estimated farming area of 57,000 hectares, and 4.5 million cubic meters of cages with production of 470 thousand tons. Other species of high economic value such as cold-water fish, tilapia, molluscs, giant freshwater shrimp, lobster ... continued to develop stably, contributing to raising productivity and value of the industry.
Referring to the removal of the "yellow card" for seafood, Ms. Phan Thi Hue, Director of the Legal Department (General Department of Fisheries), said that Vietnam had made efforts to perfect the system of legal documents related to the industry, which is a very important condition for the EC not to issue a "red card". However, at present, the implementation of fishery legal systems in localities is generally very slow. Fishermen's sense of compliance with the fishery laws is still very poor.
Ms. Hue pointed out some urgent problems that EC had warned Vietnam, which need to be solved more drastically in the near future. That is the installation of cruise monitoring equipment for fishing vessels with a length of 15m or more (must be completed in 2020); control of fishing vessels at sea and fishing vessels entering and leaving ports.
Besides, the traceability of exported seafood in all stages from marine exploitation to processing and export is also an issue that EC will strengthen supervision and requirements. Vietnam is required to synchronize solutions of traceability solutions to all markets that Vietnam exports to.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien said that the fishery industry still has some limitations that need to be overcome in the coming time. Specifically, the infrastructure of fishing ports, processing mechanisms and warehouse conditions are still weak and have not been adequately invested. The fishing fleet is too large, the technology is poor, and the post-harvest losses are high. Human resources for fishing and processing are also lacking and weak. These are difficulties that the fisheries industry will have to focus on overcoming and removing in 2020.
Next year, Vietnam’s fishery industry must continue to effectively implement Fisheries Law and its guiding documents. In particular, the registration of certification of brackish water shrimp, catfish, cage culture facilities must be focused on. In addition, the development of key aquaculture products such as black tiger shrimp, white-leg shrimp, catfish and high-value aquaculture species will be aimed at increasing commercial values and sustainable development.
>>> Read more: Vietnam’s 11-Month Economic Overview P2
Compiled by VietnamCredit