Vietnam, with a coastline of over 3,260 kilometers (km) and more than 3,000 islands and islets scattered offshore, plus up to 2,860 rivers and estuaries, has been geographically endowed with ideal conditions for the thriving fishery sector which currently exists.

Great potential of fishery sector in Vietnam is embedded in water bodies of 1.700.000 ha in which 811.700 ha freshwater, 635.400 ha brackish waters and 125.700 ha coves and 300.000 - 400.000 ha wetland areas might be employed for aquaculture development.

The Mekong River Delta in the south and the Red River Delta in the north have been used for wild catch fishing as well as extensive fish farming.

Shrimp and pangasius mostly farmed in the Mekong River Delta, in which, shrimp farmes located in coastal provinces such as Tra Vinh, Bac Lieu, Soc Trang, Ca Mau, Kien Giang, Ben Tre..

Pangasius farming is developing in many provinces in Mekong River Delta such as Can Tho, Vinh Long, Tien Giang, An Giang, Dong Thap, Soc Trang, Hau Giang, Tra Vinh....

Production in the fishery sector grew at an average rate of 7.05% from 1991 to 2000, and 10% from 2001 to now. The country produces annually over 6 million MT of fish, in which its landings reached 2.7 million MT and aquaculture reached 3.3 million MT. In 2015, total fisheries production reached 6.56 million MT, including 3.03 million tons from catching and 3.53 million tons from aquaculture.

Ben Tre: Shrimp to become spearhead of production industry

The Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre will be developing its shrimp sector’s value chain with intensive farming and advanced technological application, aiming to make it the spearhead of the locality’s industrial production sector by 2025, according to Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Huu Lap.

Under a recently issued action plan, costing over 2.6 trillion VND (111.8 million USD), the province will promote the value-chain development of the shrimp industry during 2018-2020. Some 36,800ha will be zoned off for shrimp cultivation, including 35,000ha for brackish shrimp and 1,800ha for giant river prawn.

Total shrimp output for the period is expected to hit 62,810 tonnes, and export revenue is forecast at 30 million USD.

High technologies will be applied in extensive shrimp farming, shrimp-rice farming, and shrimp-forest farming models in the province during 2020-2025. The locality predicts shrimp cultivation to increase to 37,420ha, with earnings from export to rise to 53 million USD.

The province has already set up large-scale eco-shrimp farming models in the districts of Ba Tri, Binh Dai, and Thach Phu. It is also calling for investment in three shrimp processing plants during the 2020-2025 period.

Lap said that to realise its set goals, comprehensive measures must be carried out, including in infrastructure development, science and technology development, and investment promotion.

Besides branching out cooperatives to form large material production areas, the province has turned production zones with low proficiencies into specialised aquaculture facilities, which are in line with local planning and have close connections with processing and consuming processes.

Ben Tre will prioritise infrastructure projects, especially investment in irrigational systems in farming areas that apply high technologies.

Furthermore, it will join hands with universities and institutes to study new technologies which are suitable for material production (fry, foodstuff, and equipment), farming, processing, preservation, and consumption.

The province is currently home to some 35,000ha of shrimp farms, which yield more than 50,000 tonnes per year.