Vietnam expects lower seafood production but higher export earnings in 2018
Vietnam's total aquatic-product export earnings in 2017 hit US$8.3 billion, up 17.8% year-on-year and 16.9% of the target.
The total aquatic production volume and value reached 7.1 million tonnes and VND212.360 trillion ($9.43 billion), up by 5.5% and roughly 6.2% year-on-year, respectively.
The combined volume of caught seafood hit 3.3 million tonnes, while the remainder (3.8 million tonnes) was bred.
This year, Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's Directorate of Fisheries said total aquatic production is expected at only 7 million tonnes, down 3.8% from 2017. Of the total volume, up to 3 million tonnes would be caught offshore and the remainder bred, down 13.3% and up 4%, respectively.
However, shrimp output in brackish water is expected to rise 13.1% to 720,000 tonnes, while tra fish output will increase 4% to 1.3 million tonnes.
Despite the expected decrease in aquatic production, the Ministry said it will strive to earn from exports $8.5 billion this year, up 1.2% from 2017.
Nguyen Ngoc Oai, acting director general of the Directorate of Fisheries, said that in order to achieve the targeted export earnings, the sector will have to closely watch weather conditions, maintain tiger prawn output and develop white-legged shrimp breeding in advantageous areas.
The sector also has to arrange production in value chain, launch farming models up to VietGAP standards in combination with new rural development, build full procedures for seafood certification before export, and promote responsible fishing among businesses and farmers.