The central coastal province of Binh Dinh is making efforts to build a modern fishing fleet for off-shore fishing with the aim of making the best use of its advantages in natural conditions.

With more than 134 km of coastline and various bays, lagoons and river mouths, fishing and ship building have long been the province’s two major industries.

Binh Dinh currently has more than 7,000 fishing vessels, with nearly 48,800 fishermen, including 2,800 by requesting banks to provide loans at preferential interestsships capable of operating offshore, accounting for one fifth of the country’s total offshore fishing fleet. More than half of Binh Dinh boats operate in the traditional fishing grounds at Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes.

Tran Thi Thu Ha, Vice Chair of the provincial People’s Committee said the local authorities will try to improve fishermen’s access to a credit programme of the Bank for Industry and Development (BIDV) which offer loans at an annual interest of 2 percent to build new vessels, while encouraging enterprises to invest in building steel ships

At the same time, the province will invest in upgrading and dredging local ports including Tam Quan in Hoai Nhon district, La Gi in Phu Cat district and Hai Cang and Nhon Chau in Quy Nhon City, according to Ha. She added that the provincial authorities have also requested banks to provide loans at preferential interests for fishermen when they make long-day fishing trips.

The Director of Binh Dinh provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Phan Trong Ho, said there are currently 10 ship yards in the province which have a combined design of 800 vessels a year.

Statistics show 158 new fishing boats were built in Binh Dinh in 2012 and the number increased to 275 in 2013. The first four months of this year saw 48 new vessels built, bringing the local fishing fleet to 7,180.-VNA