Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh on August 22 chaired a national conference in the south central coastal province of Khanh Hoa, discussing measures to implement a Government’s new decree on off-shore fishing development policies.

At the event, which drew the participation of more than 300 delegates from ministries, sectors, 28 coastal localities nationwide and fishermen communities, officials from the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development and Finance presented a number of draft circulars guiding the implementation of Decree 67/2014/ND-CP.

The circulars consist of regulations on various issues, including technical requirements on fishing vessels as well as preferential tax and insurance policies for fishermen.

According to the State Bank of Vietnam, five commercial banks have pledged about 14 trillion VND (658 million USD) in loans for organisations and individuals wishing to build new or upgrade their fishing vessels under Decree 67, which will become effective on August 25.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has decided that as many as 2,079 new off-shore fishing ships and 205 logistics ships will be built under the Decree.

Many of the participants at the event proposed that more attention should be paid to the comprehensive development of infrastructure for fisheries, including aquaculture areas at sea and breeding facilities, as well as fishery logistic services and storm shelters for fishing vessels.

Representatives of many localities said the number of fishing vessels as set by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development does not meet the demand of fishermen.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat explained that the number of ships was decided based on surveys on marine reserves and the capacity of the nation’s fishing fleets.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh, the decree provides a full, systematic and synchronous set of basic policies to encourage fishermen build high-capacity, iron-covered ships capable of fishing offshore, a practice that could earn fishermen higher incomes, and at the same time contribute to protecting the country’s territorial waters.

It also gives priority to the building of fishery logistics vessels, which are considered a basic factor for the effective operation of offshore catching fleets.

The Deputy PM said Decree 67 has been built carefully basing on fishermen’s opinions, field surveys, and lessons drawn from the implementation of previous decrees.

He added that the Government will review the implementation of the decree in late 2016 to draw experience for the next years.-VNA