A Japanese company is piloting a plan to build some 180 fishing boats using composite materials to help Vietnamese fishermen increase their ocean tuna catch.

Yukio Kikuchi, Project Director of the Yanmar company, said the new vessels will help save expenses as they consume 30 percent less fuel than wooden boats and costs only 50 million VND (2,380 USD) per year to maintain. They have a maximum speed of 12 nautical miles per hour, 4-6 miles faster than the maximum speed of their wooden and steel counterparts.

Composite boats are also said to preserve the haul better and work more safely than wooden ones.

Kikuchi said his firm will set up 10 fishing teams in each of central Khanh Hoa, Phu Yen and Binh Dinh provinces, and each team will group six vessels for offshore tuna fishing.

Yanmar has set the target for their fishing teams in the three central provinces to export about 4,500 tonnes of tuna to Japan every year from 2015.-VNA