Aquaculture for all

Ca Mau Fishing for US$ Billion Dollar Shellfish Industry

Economics +1 more

VIET NAM - The southernmost province of Ca Mau aims to become the country's largest seafood exporter by earning an export revenue of US$1 billion by 2010.

In 2009, the province targets $750 million in seafood export revenue, an increase of 17 per cent against this year.

To achieve the goals, the province over the next two years will attempt to raise shrimp exports to 80 per cent from the current 63 per cent of total seafood exports.

Funds from the public budgets are being used to build irrigation works so as to increase shrimp quality and output. In the first eight months of this year, Ca Mau netted 69,000 tonnes of shrimp, the biggest output in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region.

The shrimp farming area has been expanded to 250,000 ha. Advanced farming techniques are being used to increase output.

Increase capacity

Local authorities have encouraged investors to build processing plants to increase total capacity to 157,000 tonnes of seafood next year.

Local processors, for their part, will diversify the kinds of seafood they raise by including shrimp as well as fish, squids and crabs.

Officials said apart from the expansion of shrimp farms, a steady supply of materials and reasonable prices for farmers must be provided.

They also said trade promotion should be focused on key traditional markets including the US, Japan and the EU as well as potential ones such as Australia, Canada, Russia, China and South Korea.

The domestic market, which holds a major share in the industry's total turnover, must not be ignored either seafood industry officials have said.

The industry should also hold more trade fairs and exhibitions and ensure that ways of delivery and payment are in line with World Trade Organisation commitments, they urged.

The seafood industry has earned $4.27 billion from exports thus far this year, $0.7 billion higher than the target.

Despite the global financial crisis, the industry aims to reach $4.3 billion by the year's end, according to the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors.