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.

Dong Thap eyes over 2,000ha for prawns

The Dong Thap province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will earmark over 2,000 hectares of land for farming giant river prawns, most of it in Tam Nong, Thanh Binh, and Cao Lanh districts and Hong Ngu town.

Ho Thanh Dung, deputy director of the department, said since 2013, when the land available for breeding these prawns peaked at 1,133 hectares, yielding over 1,000 tonnes, the area had been decreasing.

Last year it had fallen to just 248ha, yielding around 77 tonnes.

The reason for the drop is climate change due to which there have been floods and worsening water quality, affecting the growth of the prawns.

In recent years seaside provinces such as Tra Vinh, Kien Giang and Ben Tre have undertaken intensive farming of giant river prawn with low cost and high output, leading to lower demand for the crustacean from Dong Thap.

To facilitate prawn farming in Dong Thap, the province has proposed several policies such as creating co-operative groups, linking farmers with suppliers, production facilities and distribution channels, setting up research into farming techniques and technologies and reducing the use of chemicals.

Last year it implemented crop rotation with farmers growing rice after harvesting prawns. The organic waste from the giant river prawns at the bottom of the lake greatly increases soil fertility and rice output.