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.

Bac Lieu to expand 2 sustainable shrimp farming models

The Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu plans to expand its efficient and sustainable super-intensive shrimp farming and shrimp-rice farming models.

The Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu plans to expand its efficient and sustainable super-intensive shrimp farming and shrimp-rice farming models.

The former model was first developed by companies in 2017 and later expanded to households, according to the province’s Agriculture Extension Centre.

The province has 1,845ha of super-intensive shrimp farming ponds, including 950ha belonging to companies and 324ha to households.

The model requires large initial investment of 1-1.6 billion VND (43,100-69,000 USD) per hectare, but offers profits of 600 million-1 billion VND (25.900-43,100 USD) a year.

Under the shrimp-rice farming model, farmers grow rice in the rainy season and breed shrimp in the dry season on the same rice fields.

The rice yield is 4.4-5 tonnes per hectare per crop and the shrimp yield is 230-350 kilogrammes.

The shrimp-rice farming model is friendly to the environment as farmers use few pesticides and chemicals and it adapts to climate change.

The province has 37,700ha under the model, and, according to its Agriculture Extension Centre, has the capacity to expand it to 50,000ha.

Speaking at a seminar in Bac Lieu on October 24, Duong Thanh Trung, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, instructed local agencies to cooperate with research institutions to finalise the farming processes for the two models and train farmers.

Waste treatment facilities should be included in the super-intensive model to protect the environment, he warned.

The growth of shrimp cooperatives and cooperative groups that use advanced farming techniques should be fostered, he said.

The province encouraged farmers to breed shrimp to quality standards like Vietnamese good agricultural practices (VietGAP) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), he added.

Luu Hoang Ly, Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the province was quickly building infrastructure for a hi-tech agriculture zone to develop shrimp farming.

This would help to develop the province into the country’s shrimp industry hub, he said.

The province plans to have four hi-tech aquaculture areas, including one for producing fry, by next year, and 10 by 2025.

It targets exports of $750 million worth of shrimp next year and $1 billion by 2025.

Bac Lieu expects to produce 155,000 tonnes of shrimp this year, 15.1 percent more than last year, according to the department./.