Tuna being processed for export at Binh Dinh Seafood JSC. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA)
- Developing concentrated aquaculture areas, strengthening linkages among stakeholders, optimising costs, increasing the use of technology, and building brands are among the measures that would add value to the aquaculture sector, according to the Directorate of Fisheries.

Addressing a roundtable in Ho Chi Minh City on November 22, Tran Dinh Luan, Deputy General Director of the Directorate, highlighted the importance of the aquaculture sector in the country’s agricultural production and exports.

Productivity and output have increased significantly in recent years, with output exceeding catches from the sea, he said.

The increase in the use of technology has obviously helped increase aquaculture productivity and output, Vu Duyen Hai from the directorate said.

Demand for aquaculture products is expected to continue increasing in the coming years, especially in developing countries, he said.

The free trade agreements the country has signed will throw up opportunities for Vietnamese firms to increase production and export, he added.

But the sector faces challenges, Hai and other participants said.

Vietnam is among the world’s largest aquaculture producers and exporters, but its costs are high compared to other countries in the region, they said.

Other challenges included a lack of infrastructure, small scale of farming, intense competition in the global market, technical barriers put up by importing countries, and lack of brands, they added.

Truong Thi Le Khanh, Chairwoman of the Vinh Hoan Co. Ltd., to raise the value of aquaculture products, Vietnam need to improve from the improvement of the product quality from varieties to farming and processing technologies.

She called on businesses and producers to adopt advanced production technologies, automate processing, diversify products and strengthen linkages among stakeholders to cut costs and improve quality.

Besides, enterprises should pay due attention to by-products and invest more in processing to raise the value for the sector.

Truong Dinh Hoe, General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said the Government should zone areas for aquaculture and processing plants and identify what species to breed with a focus on encouraging closed production models, linkages in production chains and adoption of modern technologies to improve productivity and reduce costs.

The sector should acquire aquaculture certificates demanded by large import markets, further clamp down on the use of chemicals and antibiotics, and develop brands, he said.

The fisheries industry earned 7.4 billion USD from exports in the first 10 months of the year and will surely meet the full-year target of 9 billion USD, Hoe said.

Shrimp exports are expected to be worth 3.8 billion USD and tra fish, 2.2 billion USD, he said.

Organised by the directorate, VASEP and GIZ, the event was held to discuss the current situation in the aquaculture sector and measures to improve its efficiency and increase investment in it. - VNA