(seafood.vasep.com.vn) Eight ocean tuna caught by fishermen from the central province of Binh Dinh, Vietnam, were recently auctioned in Japan. A 39kg tuna sold for the highest price of 1,600 yen/kg, earning nearly $600.
Mr. Tran Van Phuc, deputy director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Binh Dinh, said the average price for 1kg of tuna in Japan was 1,240 yen (over $10).
Phuc said the tuna fish were carefully selected by Japanese experts before they were brought to Japan for the auction.
Photo: The Japanese experts examine and evaluate the quality of tuna caught by Vietnamese fishermen.
Japanese fisheries experts said that the quality of tuna fish caught by Vietnamese fishermen is quite similar to the same products available in the Japanese market. If the fishing and maintenance process is adjusted, the quality would be much better and the price higher.
Binh Dinh currently has more than 9,600 fishing ships, including more than 1,200 tuna-catching boats. In January 2016, 730 ships went out to sea and caught over 1,000 tons of tuna, and 7% over the same period last year.
In the past few days, hundreds of local fishermen have returned to the mainland with big catches, ranging from 1.4 to 1.8 tons of tuna fish each boat, earning profit of VND100 to VND150 million ($5,000-$7,000)/boat.
Earlier, Binh Dinh authorities helped 25 fishing boats install tuna catching equipment of Japan. The province has combined with Japanese Kato group to train and hand over tuna fishing technology to local experts and 120 fishermen.
Binh Dinh fishermen sell their tunas that meet export standards to the Binh Dinh Seafood Joint Stock Company for VND170,000 ($) per kilo.
Since 2014, Binh Dinh has built link chains to purchase and export high-quality tuna to Japan. However, as the chains did not operate smoothly, the quality of the product failed to meet the market’s demands.
In related news, a Japanese firm - Hokugan Ltd Company - intends to build a plant to process ocean tuna and other aquatic products in the Dong Tac fishing port, Tuy Hoa city of the central coastal province of Phu Yen in the near future.
Vietnamese tuna products are exported to 100 countries and territories, including the US, Japan, Israel and Canada, as well as the EU and the ASEAN region.
Tuna exports have been the third biggest earner in Vietnam's seafood industry with a value of US$400 million in 2014, behind only tra fish and shrimp.