As the farthermost island district of Quang Ninh province, about 80km from the mainland, Co To island is changing rapidly to become a sustainable economy model in the country's northeast sea, the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) online newspaper reported on April 2.

Secretary of the district Party Committee Nguyen Duc Thanh said that it is urgent for the district to develop and turn the seafood industry into a spearhead economic sector, creating momentum for Co To island to develop.

Despite having strength in fishing with many types of fish, of which about 60 species have high economic value, many rare species are also present such as pearl, abalone, geoduck, garrupa and grouper. However, due to difficulties of distance, food, gasoline, maintenance and preliminary treatment, the fishing industry of Co To island is mainly near the shore. This makes the fish resources of the locality face many challenges, and it can affect its sustainable development.

According to Thanh, to overcome the above limitations, it is necessary to quickly build a fishery logistic service centre in the district, and diversify services to turn the island into a busy fishery logistic service centre of the Northern Gulf of Tonkin.

A project on a fishery logistic service centre in the northern Gulf of Tonkin on Co To island district was approved by the Quang Ninh provincial People's Committees in early 2007 and began construction in 2009, with total investment of over 466 billion VND (22.2 million USD)

It is expected that this year, the fishery logistic service centre will be completed and put into operation. It will provide full range of services and essential commodities for fishermen so that they feel secure to conduct long sea voyages. It will be the largest freight centre on Co To island, creating a foundation for the development of the seafood processing industry of the island district, gradually making Co To a new port with diverse types of services.

Thanh said that the consistent orientation for the development of Co To island in the coming time is to fully tap its potentials and advantages, seizing opportunities and attracting investment to create strong growth and economic restructuring. In addition, Co To will gradually be built into an island area with dynamic economic development, a solid base to defend the sovereignty of the sea and islands of the country.

Co To island is focusing on the development of its seafood trademark, improving values of seafood products and calling upon businesses to invest and build seafood processing, fish sauce, and canned fish factories at the fishery logistics service centre of the district.

Recently, in October 2013, the connection of the island to the national grid opened a new stage of development on Co To island, especially in the seafood industry development. The national grid creates favourable conditions for Co To to comprehensively develop, conduct modernisation of the seafood industry towards great commodity production, high productivity and highly qualified and diversified products for exports and tourism.

Co To also determines to harmoniously combine the development of the seafood industry and seafood breeding and fishery service; with the production and processing, of consumer seafood resources and ecological environmental protection to ensure sustainable development.

The seafood sector of Co To island district strives to reach the output of 8,000 -10,000 tonnes per year, worth about 160-170 billion VND by 2020 and accounting for 30% of GDP, an average growth rate of 12-13% per year, contributing to the economic growth rate of the district of 18-20% per year.-VNA