The fisheries industry will be restructured to increase the added value of products and ensure future development under a new decision by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

Decision 2760/QD-BNN-TCTS, issued on November 22, aims to improve efficiency and competitiveness by increasing the output, quality and added value of seafood products.

The plan also seeks to improve the incomes and living standards of fishermen in coastal regions and ensure national food security by 2020.

The ministry set a 6 percent average growth rate target for production value by 2020.

The average rate would be 3 percent for fisheries, 8 percent for aquaculture and 6 percent for the value of seafood exports.

The ministry also aims to keep output stable at 2.4-2.6 million tonnes per year by 2020, while reducing the output of coastal fishing from 1.2 million tonnes to 0.8-0.87 million tonnes and increasing the output of offshore fishing from 1 million tonnes to 1.4-1.53 million tonnes.

MARD will increase state budget investment in the fisheries industry from 7 percent of the total investment in the 2011-15 period to 10 percent during the 2016-20 period.

The additional funds would focus on output research and forecasting, management of fisheries, infrastructure, disease prevention and production testing systems.

Export value of seafood for the first 11 months of this year increased year-on-year by 9.1 percent to 6.11 billion USD, according to the ministry.

The US was the largest importer of Vietnamese seafood, accounting for 22 percent of the total export value. In the first 10 months, the export value of seafood to the US jumped 19.9 percent to 1.19 billion USD.

The export value of seafood to other countries also went up, with exports to China rising 58.6 percent; to Canada, 28.2 percent; and to Thailand, 8.3 percent.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) expected further growth in the last quarter due to increasing shrimp export value, though the export value of tra fish would struggle to recover and export value of tuna and other kinds of seafood would decline against the last quarter of 2012.

In the last quarter of 2013, the export value of seafood is expected to reach 1.7 billion USD, 6.5 percent higher than the same period of last year. The value for this year is forecast to increase 5 percent to 6.5 billion USD.-VNA