Kien Giang province unveils numerous measures to improve fishermen’s lot hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)
Kien Giang (VNS/VNA) - The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang is taking measures to regenerate fish stocks in fishing grounds and help fishermen resolve difficulties like shortage of labour and lack of access to soft loans to ensure sustainable fishing. 

Quang Trong Thao, deputy director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the plan is to reduce the number of near-shore fishing boats and increasing the number of large-capacity offshore boats.

This year all fishing boats with a capacity of more than 90 horsepower will have to install equipment to pinpoint their location, locate the richest fishing grounds and contact the mainland.

Those with a capacity of more than 400 HP have to install automatic identification systems and use new advanced preservation methods to improve the quality of their catch and spend more time fishing off shore.

The province will severely penalise fishermen who violate fishing regulations to ensure fish stock regeneration, according to the department.

It will train people in fishing skills to address the shortage of fishermen.

It will focus on creating a value chain for fishing and strengthening co-operation among offshore fishermen so that they can improve their incomes. 

Kien Giang has more than 9,800 fishing boats, the largest number in the country, including nearly 4,000 offshore boats of more than 15-metre length. 

More than half of the latter have devices to identify their location.

The province has five main fishing ports, Tac Cau in Chau Thanh district, An Thoi and Tho Chau in Phu Quoc district, Xeo Nhau in An Minh district, and Nam Du in Kien Hai district.

Tac Cau and An Thoi are in the country’s list of fishing ports that can certify the origin of fishermen’s catch.

Last year a large number of offshore fishing boats in Kien Giang did not go fishing because of multiple problems like shortage of fishermen, depletion of fish stocks, lack of funds to go fishing offshore, and failure to install the requisite devices on boats.

A third of the 3,000 offshore fishing boats in Rach Gia city have not gone into the sea since September 2018, according to the city Fisheries Association.

Truong Van Ngu, its chairman, blamed it on losses caused by a depletion in fish stocks.

The province’s fishermen caught 45,580 tonnes of seafood in the first month of the year, down 8.1 percent from last year, according to the department.

The full-year target is 495,000 tonnes./.