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.

Fishery production in the first 9 months up 5.4%

( According to Directorate of Fisheries, total seafood production in September 2019 reached 733.5 thousand MT, of which capture output hit 251 thousand MT, aquaculture volume touched 328.5 thousand MT. Accumulated from the beginning of 2019, the total output is estimated at 5,964.9 thousand MT, up 5.4% over the same period in 2018 and reaching 73.8% of the 2019 plan, of which, capture output is estimated at 2,850.9 thousand MT, aquaculture production is 3,114 thousand MT.

For aquaculture, as of September 24, 2019, the brackish water shrimp farming area reached 705,209 ha (an increase of 0.5% compared to the same period in 2018), of which the area of tiger shrimp farming was 606,661 hectares, area of farming whiteleg shrimp was 98,548 ha. The harvest yield reached 504,413 MT (an increase of 6.2% compared to the same period in 2018), of which, the production of black tiger shrimp was 181,585 MT, the output of whiteleg shrimp was 322,828 MT.

According to the assessment of Directorate of Fisheries, the whole country continues to be affected by climate change. Abnormal weather patterns such as rising temperature, salinity increases, prolonged rain.... affect to environment in shrimp pond, resulting to being susceptible to disease outbreak. Therefore, depending on specific conditions, shrimp farmers need to apply synchronous solutions on pond management and care such as water environment management, food and pathogens management contributing to the result of farming and reducing production costs. Furthermore, Directorate of Fisheries also recommends shrimp farmers to adhere to the seasonal calendar according to the annual recommendations of specialized agencies.

For pangasius, the cumulative farming area as of September 21, 2019 was 5,703 ha (an increase of 1553 ha, equivalent to 37% compared to the same period in 2018), the cumulative harvested area till September 21, 2019 was 3,449 hectares (up 30.9% over the same period in 2018). The cumulative output reached 891,597 MT (an increase of 2.9% compared to the same period of 2018). Compared to the same period in 2018, the farming area, harvest area and output increased from 23 to 30%, but the harvest output increased only slightly by 2.9%. Therefore, it can be identified that farmers are currently harvesting small-sized fish. The reason for that may be due to small- sized fillet orders or growers who want to minimize the risk of falling fish prices. Besides, the farming area in September tended to decrease compared to August 2019.

Regarding to capture fisheries, in the third quarter of 2019, the 2 storms (Wipha and Danas) and the relatively strong southwest monsoon somewhat affected fishing activities of fishermen. However, taking advantage of stable weather, longline fishing vessels still went for fishing at sea and achieved good results. Specifically, the fishing output in September reached 251 thousand MT, bringing the total fishing production in 9 months of 2019 to 2,850.9 thousand MT.

In August and September 2019, shrimp exports decreased slightly after increasing in July, reaching US$352.9 million. In the first 8 months of 2019, shrimp export value reached US$2.1 billion, down 7% compared to the same period in 2018. Shrimp exports are expected to change more positively in the last months of the year. Market demand have inched up, shrimp production and domestic and world shrimp prices have improved, creating momentum for shrimp exports in the last months of the year. Meanwhile, as of August 30, pangasius exports reached US$1.3 billion, down about 7% compared to the same period in 2018. According to the recommendation, enterprises should proactively supply pangasius materials from now to the end of the year, avoiding material shortages. It is expected that, pangasius export turnover fell by 10% compared to the same period in 2018.