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.

Vinh Long: Boost linkage in production and consumption of pangasius

( According to the plan of 2018, the area of pangasius farming in Vinh Long province strives to reach an area of 460 hectares with the output of 80 thousand MT. In particular, the locality expected to produce 40 million of pangasius seeds and 1,300 million fries. To achieve the above objectives, Vinh Long province has introduced many solutions to reorganize production in the direction of enhancing chain linkages and community management models such as GAP-certified manufacturing cooperatives.

In order to develop pangasius farming sustainably, in the past years, many models of chain linkages in production and consumption of pangasius have been applied in Vinh Long, which had high economic efficiency. Currently in Vinh Long province, there were 20/150 establishments that are stocking and linking their production between farms and seafood processing factories. Of that, there were 03 farms signing a contract with a seafood processing factory, accordingly, the factory deliver feeds to farmers and then reclaims the products. In addition, there have been established some other linkages such as the linkage between farms and processing plants and feed mills; linkage between farms and shops selling aquatic materials and linkage through outsourcing of production processes.

Linkages have brought many benefits to farmers and processing enterprises as well as input supply enterprises. In particular, the benefits that businesses have are that businesses have created large production areas on the same varieties and mechanized into the fields to increase labor productivity. These helped businesses to have stable material areas to meet the production requirements in accordance with the plan of the company, thus reduced the scarcity of raw materials for production, purchasing raw materials at high prices or increasing input costs of products. At the same time, these created favorable conditions for enterprises to build, develop and advertise their trademarks for export products in order to raise the competitiveness of enterprises on the market.

Besides, farmers also saw benefits when joining the chain as they are guided by leading enterprises in terms of production techniques, provided with sufficient seeds and supplies for production and even cash advance to cover living expenses; higher incomes thanks to improved production efficiency and stable income.

To restructure the fisheries sector, Vinh Long province has also focused on developing commercial aquaculture areas with diverse models and cultured species and obtaining international standards as well as VietGAP standards. At present, Vinh Long province has an area of 257.62 hectares of pangasius farming which are certified. Of which, 75 hectares were certified by GlobalGAP/ASC standard (07 establishments); 40 ha were certified by the international standards + VietGAP (5 establishments); 142.58 ha of VietGAP standards (121 establishments).

In addition, facilities of producing seed are applied standards to improve the quality of seeds. At present, there are 02 facilities of producing seed certified by GlobalGAP with the total area of 6.3 hectares.

In order to reach the target set for 2018, Vinh Long province has introduced many solutions to stabilize the area and output of pangasius.

The locality continues to monitor water quality and warn environmental issues and diseases; at the same time, strengthens monitoring of farming areas to guide disease prevention and treatment on pangasius, focus on food safety and ensure the quality of products to meet the requirements of domestic consumption and export markets.