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Seafood Sector Needs Government Aid

VIET NAM - Seafood exports this year are expected to reach $4.2 billion, which is $300 million lower than last year.

The Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP) attributes the decline to several difficulties that the sector has faced this year, including declining orders as a result of the global economic crisis.

A number of seafood farms in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta have suffered heavy losses because of lower prices and higher production costs.

Luong Van De from Can Tho City said he lost over VND100 million ($5,200) after selling 50 tonnes of tra fish at VND14,500 per kilo ($0.76). Since early this year, many farms have suffered heavy losses, he added.

According to department of agriculture and rural development in Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces, this is the second consecutive year that aquaculture farms and seafood export businesses in the region have suffered losses. They blame it on losing some important export markets, declining export prices and lack of seafood material sources.

Shrimp processing factories in the Delta have faced a severe shortage of materials. Ly Van Thuan, general secretary of Ca Mau Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, said exports this year from the province are expected to decline by $35 million to $630 million.

He also said that polluted shrimp feeding environments have reduced output, so processing factories were not able to operate at full capacity.

Many aquaculture farms and seafood processors in the Delta have closed their businesses due to huge losses.

Nguyen Van Dao, director of Go Dang Seafood Co, said the situation has resulted from an unsustainable rush to set up aquaculture farms and seafood processing factories in the Delta a few years ago.

Experts said the Government should play a leading role in restructuring the industry and ensuring its stable development. They want the Government to set out a detailed plan covering feeding zones, harvesting, processing and export development.

They said the industry had great potential to develop further as demand for seafood continues to rise in the world.

the Fish Site Editor

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