Effects of COVID-19 ripple through fisheries sector hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
- The adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt in Vietnam’s fisheries sector, with export value falling 30 percent year-on-year in March.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) reported that fisheries export revenue reached just 549 million USD in the month, with declines seen in the export of tra fish and tuna fish (over 29 percent), squid (31 percent), and shrimp (about 15 percent).

The sharpest fall was seen in the EU (of 40 percent), followed by China (25 percent), the Republic of Korea (24 percent), and Japan (19 percent).

Total export turnover had reached over 1.5 billion USD as of the end of March, a fall of 14 percent, with the sharpest contraction seen for tra fish, mainly due to shrinking exports to China in the first two months.

Some 35-50 percent of shrimp orders from the US and the EU have been suspended or cancelled, according to Le Van Quang, Chairman of the Minh Phu Seafood Corp.

A similar situation was seen by mid-March in orders from the Middle East, Asia, and South America.

Quang said that despite such difficulties, domestic firms have still purchased shrimp from tens of thousands of farmers in the Mekong Delta in an effort to shore up employment.

Apart from market obstacles, businesses must also shoulder the burden of extra container storage charges as well as expenses for equipment like face masks, thermometers, and sanitier used to fight COVID-19.

VASEP General Secretary Truong Dinh Hoe said concerns over falling shrimp and tra fish prices prompted farmers to conduct an early harvest.

If farmers cut production at this time, this will lead to a shortage of materials at the end of this year when the disease has been stamped out and consumption demand is increasing, he warned.

Local fisheries processors and exporters have proposed the Government instruct the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour to consider exemptions of trade union fees and social insurance collections this year.

They also called for reductions in corporate income tax and bank fees along with other credit incentives./.