Experts have called for central coast provinces to take measures to intensify cooperation between their aquaculture and tourism sectors to push for their economic growth, the Saigon Times Daily reported.

Aquaculture and tourism are among the strengths of central Vietnam and proper policies will help these sectors fare well, experts said at a seminar in Phu Yen Province last week.

Experts spent much time discussing how to achieve sustainable aquaculture development in the region in the coming time. They also raised a point that the coastal provinces have many good seafood products but their fishing and seafood processing capacities have not matched the region’s huge potential.

Tran Dinh Thien, director of the Vietnam Institute of Economics, pointed out that investment promotion forums held in recent years had mainly focused on what the aquaculture sector could offer and how to increase output, instead of finding markets for it.

“Central Vietnam is known for such specialties as ocean tuna, lobster, fish sauce and hard-working locals, and the Government has issued a host of supporting policies for this region. However, the central coast region has not been able to take advantage of these to fuel growth,” Thien said.

Thien suggested that in a long term, the provinces combine strengths of the aquaculture and tourism sectors to serve as a fresh boost to their economic growth.

“Distinctive spots and cultural diversities are the advantages for the localities to attract more tourists and then sell their original seafood products to these visitors,” he said.

Doan Xuan Hoa, deputy director of the Department of Processing and Trade for Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Products and Salt Production, supported the idea to combine tourism and aquaculture advantages. However, he urged the provinces to manage to sell more value-added seafood products to visitors, instead of fresh and semi-processed items as currently.

Hoa noted that annual catches from the sea reached 2-2.2 million tonnes and were unlikely to move higher in the coming years due to the limited capacity of the fishing fleet.

At the seminar, corporate representatives asked for more supporting policies from leaders of the coastal provinces to facilitate coordination of the two sectors in promoting products.-VNA