The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development plans to create a production chain involving fishing, processing, and consumption of tuna.

The trial project aims to improve tuna output, quality, and value addition as part of efforts to industrialise and modernise the industry.

It will be carried out from 2014 to 2017 in the country's three leading tuna fishing provinces - Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, and Khanh Hoa.

To cost an estimated 760 billion VND (36.1 million USD), it will provide soft loans to fishermen to upgrade their fishing boats or buy steel ones.

Authorities will manage the fishing by issuing quotas and licences, and encourage fishermen to set up cooperatives and other models of cooperation.

They will provide fishermen modern fishing and preservation technologies, with the project hoping to cut post-catch losses to less than 10 percent.

Besides improving tuna logistics services, the project will also build a specialised tuna port in Qui Nhon city that will have a refrigerated warehouse and auction market.

Last year the country's tuna exports to 112 markets were worth more than 526 million USD, ranking third out of the country's major fisheries exports after tra fish and shrimp.

But the industry faces challenges like the stricter quality and origin requirements, international organisations and consumers' demand for sustainable exploitation, and fierce global competition, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers.

Tuna fishing in the country remains small-scale, Vu Dinh Dap, chairman of the Vietnam Tuna Association, says. Fishermen focus mainly on output and not on post-catch preservation.

According to the Phu Yen Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, most tuna fishing boats in the province are small and have inadequate equipment for fishing and preservation.-VNA