Solutions to bring marine aquaculture to become a main sub-sector in development of the fisheries sector in the coming time (25-12-2020)

In December 18, 2020, in Phu Yen provice, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) coordinated with People's Committee of Phu Yen province to hold a conference of development of sustainable marine aquaculture. The conference was aimed at discussing solutions to make marine aquaculture become a main sub-sector of fisheries development in the coming time.
Solutions to bring marine aquaculture to become a main sub-sector in development of the fisheries sector in the coming time

Attending the conference, there were representatives of agencies under MARD, People's Committee of Phu Yen province, Directorate of Fisheries (D-Fish), Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARDs) of coastal provinces/cities, Research Institute for Aquaculture NoI, II and III, aquaculture and seafood processing establishments and fishers. Mr. Phung Duc Tien, Vice Minister of MARD and Mr Tran Huu The, Chairman of People's Committee of Phu Yen province, co-chaired the conference.

According to D-Fish’s report, total potential area for mariculture in the country is about 500 thousand hectares, of which, the intertidal area is over 153 thousand hectares. over 79 thousand hectares of coastal areas, and nearly 167 thousand hectares of offshore seaareas for mariculture.

In the period of 2010 - 2019, marine aquaculture has made significant progress. The area and production have been on the increase. Total area of ​​marine aquaculture in 2010 reached 38.8 thousand hectares and over 256 thousand hectares in 2019, with an average growth rate of 23.3% per year. Mariculture production was over 156 thousand tons in 2010 and reached about 598 thousand tons in 2019, with an average growth rate of 16% per year. Main target species in mariculture include molluscs (i.e. clam, cockle, oyster, green mussel, geoduck, abalone, pearl oyster...), marine fish species (i.e. grouper, cobia, snapper, seaperch, seabream, yellowfin pomfret, milk fish...), crustaceans (i.e. lobster, crab, swimming crab...); seaweed, sea cucumber and ornamental organisms.

Currently, there are 51 marine fish hatcheries nationwide, which produce 509 million fingerlings. Lobster farming has mainly depended on a natural source of fingerlings will-harvested or imported. The breed source for commercial farming is unstable in quantity and not of quality, resulting in risks for farmers. Currently, the technology of artificial reproduction of crabs has been completed and transferred to provinces, contributed to development of commercial crab culture.

There are 764 seafood processing establishments nationwide engaged in the processing of marine products on an industrial scale, of which 644 are frozen seafood processing establishments. The major markets for processed products are the EU, the US, Japan, Russia, and some Middle East markets...

Although there has been thriving in recent years, marine aquaculture in Vietnam has been small scale and has not made full use of its potentials and advantages of the nature. Infrastructure for mariculture has been limited and asynchronous. Technology of seed production of many marine fish species has not been widely transferred to hatcheries. Due to costly and high-risk investment in marine aquaculture, marine fish seed production has not attracted interest from businesses or fishermen. Although the State has policies to encourage development of mariculture, there is not much investment in research projects to completely solve in a short time to master the breeding technology of some species with high economic value.

Currently, MARD and D-Fish have reviewed to complete a Project on development of Vietnam's marine aquaculture to 2030, with a vision to 2045. In particular, the project has set up goals for re-planning of hatcheries, culture processes, farming areas and development of markets. According to a draft of the project, by the year 2025, the area of marine aquaculture will reach 280 thousand hectares and total volume of farming cages will be about 10.5 million m3. By the year 2030, the area of mariculture will be about 290 thousand hectares and total volume of culture cages will be 12 million m3. Marine aquaculture production will be 1.45 million tons. With a vision to 2045, marine farming industry will become a major part of country's marine economy.

At the conference, Vice Minister Phung Duc Tien emphasized that Viet Nam has large potential for marine aquaculture. So, it needs to pay attention to development of mariculture towards modernization, especially in the context of fisheries resources in decrease and raw materials for export processing depending on imports.

To achieve the objectives of sustainable development of marine aquaculture, Mr. Phung Duc Tien asked the management agencies at the central and local levels as well as research institutes and establishments to focus on some main solutions. The first is synchronously improvement of institutions and policies to facilitate development of marine aquaculture. The second is researches in development and application of new technologies into mariculture and processing to make value-added products. The third is development of a systems of information, forecast and analysis of market for aquaculture products, promotion of trade and introduction Vietnamese mariculture products to domestic, regional and international markets. The fourth is study and application new technological achievements in breeding and seed selection to improve quality of broodstock. The fifth is attraction of domestic and foreign investment in development of feed production which applies modern technology, advanced management to get high quality and reasonable price. The sixth is development of technology for mariculture cages, test in models of culture cage suitable for each species of aquaculture, those have possibility of resisting waves, storms and facilitating a process of monitoring, caring and harvesting. The seventh is formation and completion of a system of monitoring and warning environment and disease prevention for concentrated areas of marine aquaculture in order to minimise risks and adapt to climate change. The last is strengthening of international cooperation in transfer of science and technology, human resources training for management, research and production of marine aquaculture.

Nam Anh

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