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.

Agriculture sector fulfills targets set by government

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has accomplished targets set by the government this year, said Deputy Minister Ha Cong Tuan during a press conference in Hanoi on December 29.

The sector posted a growth rate of 2.94 percent, higher than the 2.84 percent set by the government. It earned 36.37 billion USD from agro-forestry-fisheries export, over 4 billion USD higher than the same period last year, and posted a trade surplus of 8.55 billion USD, up more than 1 billion USD year-on-year.

Under the National Target Programme on New Rural Development, 2,884 communes have been recognised as new-style rural areas, or 32.3 percent of the total, surpassing the goal of 31 percent.

The rate of forest coverage reached 41.45 percent while violations in forest protection management fell by 23 percent and damages from deforestation and forest fires declined by 68 percent year-on-year.

Those achievements were made despite unfavourable weather conditions this year with a record 16 tropical storms, along with floods on wide scale. Total damage from natural disasters is estimated at roughly 60 trillion VND (2.66 billion USD) this year, much higher than 39 trillion VND in 2016.

Tuan attributed the growth to agricultural restructuring in combination with new rural development in adaptation to climate change.

Instead of rice cultivation, priority is switched to high-value produce such as aquatic products, fruits and vegetables, and wooden furniture.

Export of aquatic products hit a record 8.4 billion USD for the first time while wood and forestry shipments reached an all time high 8 billion USD.

More than 1,400 cooperatives and 1,000 working groups were established, raising the total number of cooperatives to 12,200, more than 30 percent of which operate efficiently.

Nearly 2,000 firms operating in agro-forestry-fisheries were established, marking a 3.8 percent increase annually. A number of major corporations choose high-tech and organic agriculture as main business field.

The ministry also chose 2017 as a year of food quality and safety management.

Up to 744 model chains of safe agro-forestry-fisheries supply have been built successfully nationwide.

In 2018, the sector will continue taking drastic measures to ensure the safety of fresh food and small-scale slaughter houses, as well as develop material growing zones based on strength of each region, improve processing and expand new and promising markets.