Vietnam, with a coastline of over 3,260 kilometers (km) and more than 3,000 islands and islets scattered offshore, plus up to 2,860 rivers and estuaries, has been geographically endowed with ideal conditions for the thriving fishery sector which currently exists.

Great potential of fishery sector in Vietnam is embedded in water bodies of 1.700.000 ha in which 811.700 ha freshwater, 635.400 ha brackish waters and 125.700 ha coves and 300.000 - 400.000 ha wetland areas might be employed for aquaculture development.

The Mekong River Delta in the south and the Red River Delta in the north have been used for wild catch fishing as well as extensive fish farming.

Shrimp and pangasius mostly farmed in the Mekong River Delta, in which, shrimp farmes located in coastal provinces such as Tra Vinh, Bac Lieu, Soc Trang, Ca Mau, Kien Giang, Ben Tre..

Pangasius farming is developing in many provinces in Mekong River Delta such as Can Tho, Vinh Long, Tien Giang, An Giang, Dong Thap, Soc Trang, Hau Giang, Tra Vinh....

Production in the fishery sector grew at an average rate of 7.05% from 1991 to 2000, and 10% from 2001 to now. The country produces annually over 6 million MT of fish, in which its landings reached 2.7 million MT and aquaculture reached 3.3 million MT. In 2015, total fisheries production reached 6.56 million MT, including 3.03 million tons from catching and 3.53 million tons from aquaculture.

Fish catches recovering after COVID-19 in central provinces

Fish catches are gradually recovering after the COVID-19 outbreak in central provinces, according to local fishermen.

Fish catches are gradually recovering after the COVID-19 outbreak in central provinces, according to local fishermen.

Le Thi Bich Lien, a seafood trader in Binh Thuan province, said in recent days the Phan Thiet fishing port has been a hub of activity with many kinds of seafood including yellow stripe trevally, mackerel, squid, and other local species being brought constantly from the sea by fishermen.

“Due to the return of tourists to Phan Thiet, the consumption of seafood has increased, leading to an increase in prices from last month.”

Phan Van Nam, a fisherman in the province’s La Gi commune, said: “I am very happy because during this trip the cost of petrol and oil were very low, the catch was big and seafood prices were up.”

Traders are now paying 50,000 VND (2.2 USD) for a kilogramme of skipjack tuna, 10,000 VND higher than 10 days ago, he said.

After unloading their catch he and his crew plan to set sail again immediately to take advantage of the rich pickings at sea and low fuel prices, he said.

According to the province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, herrings, shrimps, shellfish, scallops, and specks are appearing in many areas, fishermen are entering the South Fish Season, the prices of petrol and oil are cheap, and so they expect a big profit.

Fishermen in neighbouring Phu Yen province are getting ready to fish tuna since the COVID-19 situation in the Republic of Korea and China is under control and import demand there will gradually recover.

According to a report by the Vietnam Research Institute for Marine Fisheries, fish migration to Vietnamese waters is huge this season, and fishermen should use technological tools like magnetic compass, GPS and sonar to improve their catch. If the migratory fishes are optimally exploited, the country's target of 3.95 million tonnes of seafood this year would be achieved, it said.

The two provinces plan to continue upgrading their fishing ports and storm shelters, developing logistics services for fishing and diversifying processed fish products to add value.

The two provinces would use soft loans from central and local governments to help fishermen build high-capacity boats for offshore fishing, the institute said.