Vietnam tries to fully tap tuna catching industry

(VOVworld) – Tuna is one of Vietnam’s top export items and widely praised for its high quality. But Vietnamese fishing relies more on experience than advanced equipment. Fishermen in the south central provinces of Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, and Khanh Hoa are restructuring their production and adopting Japanese fishing techniques in an effort to stimulate the region’s marine economy, which has long been its strong point, and open up a new direction for tuna exports.

Vietnam tries to fully tap tuna catching industry - ảnh 1
Japanese experts arrived in Quy Nhon seaport on August 6th, 2014 to check the quality, classify, and package the first batch of tuna Binh Dinh fishermen exported to Japan (Photo: vnexpress.net)

Vietnam has more than 3,600 tuna boats, most of them in Bình Định, Phú Yên and Khánh Hòa province. In recent years, the annual tuna exploitation has been stable at 16,000 tons.

Last year, Vietnam earned nearly 600 million USD exporting tuna. So far Vietnam’s tuna is available in 100 countries and territories.

Each year Japan consumes about 600,000 tons of tuna, creating a great export opportunity for Vietnam.

These days seaports in the central provinces are busy receiving boats. At the peak of tuna season in Vietnamese waters, each boat can catch around 2 tons of tuna.

Phạm Văn Hồng of Tuy Hòa city, Phú Yên province, said fishermen enjoyed a good tuna harvest and prices increased during the Lunar New Year holiday.

Hồng says: “all the boats in Phu Yen province caught their full capacity. Each vessel earns about 5000 USD. I caught 38 tuna, about 1.9 tons, which earned me a net profit of 4000 USD. For the next trip I’ll buy a bigger tank to freeze the tuna, using Japanese techniques to ensure better quality.”

Central coast fishermen have begun to apply Japanese fishing and preserving techniques. The tuna fleet of Tam Quan Bắc, Hoài Nhơn district, Bình Định province is in the vanguard of applying new techniques, encouraging fishermen in other provinces to change their fishing methods.

Fishermen have received support from the government, local enterprises, and Japanese companies in installing modern tuna fishing equipment.

Before the 2015 lunar New Year holiday, Binh Dinh fishermen delivered two batches of 20 tuna to Japan’s Osaka fish market. 

Cao Thị Kim Lan, Director of the Binh Dinh Fishery joint-stock company, Bidifsco, said a cooperative program between the province and the Kato Trade Office has opened up a new way to export tuna to Japan.

Lan said new fishing techniques will help Vietnamese fishery companies ensure the quality of raw seafood, adding: the province has asked enterprises and Hoai Nhon district to train fishermen in new methods and practices. We’ll help fishermen acquire tools suitable to the local fishing environment.” 

In addition to exports to Japan, Binh Dinh is expanding distribution of fresh tuna to Japanese restaurants in Vietnam and to the US and several EU countries. A number of Japanese companies have proposed building seafood processing factories in Binh Dinh.

 

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