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.

Maritime sector needs better seaport planning: minister

The maritime sector should pay more attention to seaport planning, especially in the central and the Mekong Delta regions, said Transport Minister Nguyen Van The.

Speaking at a conference in Hanoi on January 2, the minister highlighted the special significance of the maritime sector as most of cargos from foreign countries are handled through seaports before entering the Vietnamese market.

To attract major international ships, Vietnamese seaports and maritime businesses should promptly form a big database in order to fully automate administrative procedures at the ports, he said.

The official also asked the sector to review its human resources and tighten its links with the railway and waterway sectors.

Lauding the sector’s efforts in administrative reform and application of achievements of the fourth Industrial Revolution, The said it has significantly contributed to national socio-economic development.

Nguyen Xuan Sang, head of the Vietnam Maritime Administration, reported that as of December 2018, Vietnam had 1,593 ships with total capacity of about 7.8 million DWT, ranking fourth in ASEAN and 30th globally.

The country is home to 272 wharfs with accumulated annual capacity exceeding 550 million tonnes.

Last year, local seaports handled about 524.7 million tonnes of cargo, up 19 percent year-on-year, and served 5.8 million passengers, up 28.9 percent against 2017.

Around 1,300 businesses in the country are providing maritime services. However, they have fulfilled only a quarter of the market demand.