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Fisheries Output Record Despite Difficulties

by the Fish Site Editor
31 December 2008, at 12:00am

VIET NAM - Seafood exports hit an all-time high in 2008 despite storms, high costs and fierce market competition.

2008 has been a difficult year for the domestic fisheries sector with ten storms and four tropical depressions on the Eastern Sea, high prices of fuel, materials and equipment for aquaculture, fish catching and fierce market competition. However, the sector has managed to maintain a high growth. Most notably, seafood exports hit an all-time high in 2008.

In 2008, Vietnam's total seafood volume is estimated at 4.58 million tonnes, the highest ever figure. This includes 2.45 million tonnes from aquaculture, up 15.3% against 2007 and 2.13 million tonnes from catching.

Especially, the sector bagged home US$4.5 million from exports, up US$700 million or 19.6% against last year.

Vietnam's seafood products have been exported to over 150 countries and territories including many new markets in Africa and the Middle East.

Shrimp maintains the top seafood export product. The country exported over 176,000 tonnes of shrimps in the first eleven months of the year, earning US$1.5 billion, up 20.4% in quantity and 9% in export turnover compared to the same period last year.

Total export turnover of 585,000 tonnes of tra and basa catfish products in the January-November period was US$1.33 billion, up 66.6% in quantity and 48.84% in turnover against the same period last year.

Exports of other products such as cuttlefish, tuna and others also gain high growths. Exports to traditional export markets remain stable.

As of the end of November 2008, EU continued to be the biggest importer of Vietnam's seafood, accounting for 25.35% of the country's total seafood export turnover, up 28% in value compared to the same period last year. Japan ranks second, accounting for over 18% of Vietnam's total export turnover and up 11.5% year-on-year, followed by the US, accounting for 16.2% of Vietnam's total export turnover and up 3.85% year-on-year.

New export markets such as Russia, Ukraine, and Africa also saw high growths, opening up a good opportunity to explore new export markets of the Vietnam's seafood sector.

The stable growth of the domestic seafood sector in 2008 has greatly contributed to the general development of the agricultural-fisheries and forestry sector as well as the national socio-economic stability.

In 2008, the seafood sector has made outstanding achievements, creating premises for the development of the sector in the following years. However, in 2008, changes in prices, consumption markets and the global financial crisis have had strong impacts on the Vietnamese economy. The domestic export-oriented seafood sector is sure to be greatly affected by the global financial crisis and world economic recession.

Therefore, in order to maintain a sustainable development, the fisheries sector should have to overcome a lot of challenges and difficulties. These include backward after-harvest technology, inadequate infrastructural facilities for the fisheries sector, challenges in controlling food safety and hygiene, insufficient trade promotion activities, etc.

This requires great efforts by authorities, businesses and farmers in order to continue to maintain high sustainable seafood growth, contributing to national industrialisation and modernisation in the renovation process.

the Fish Site Editor