Aquaculture output in the first four months of the year hit 1 million tonnes. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Aquaculture output in the first four months of the year hit 1 million tonnes, up 6 percent from the same time last year, according to the Directorate of Fisheries under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

In the period, the Mekong Delta region harvested some 373,000 tonnes of tra fish, a year-on-year surge of 8 percent.

With tra fish fetching high prices, local farmers have rushed to dig ponds and breed more fish, leading to the scarcity of fish fry and increase in their prices.

In a stark contrast, farmers have been rushing off their feet to harvest shrimp for fear of price drop. Each kilogramme of white-leg shrimp is being sold at 110,000-120,000 VND (4.84- 5.28 USD), decreasing 10,000-20,000 VND (0.44-0.88 USD) per kg from the previous month.

The country earned some 2.4 billion USD from exporting aquatic products in the first four months of 2018, representing a year-on-year rise of 13 percent.

In April alone, the country raked in 650 million USD from the export of aquatic products.

The US, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea were the biggest importers in January-March, making up 52 percent of the Southeast Asian country’s total aquatic product exports. The highest growth was reported in the Netherlands (55.7 percent), China (44.6 percent) and the UK (33.8 percent).

In the four-month period, Vietnam imported 536 million USD worth of aquatic products, up 27.4 percent against the same period last year. Of the figure, 130 million worth of aquatic products were imported in April.

Aquatic product exports in 2018 are expected to exceed 8.5 billion USD, up about 3 percent compared to 2017, though Vietnam's exports to the US and EU markets will continue to be affected by catfish inspection, anti-dumping and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU), according to the VASEP.-VNA