Fisheries Sector Asserting Foremost Position in Khanh Hoa Province

4:44:15 PM | 12/1/2010

The seawater of Khanh Hoa province has the North-South Pacific Ocean current running through it. Thus, the provincial seawater holds rich resources for fisheries development. With more than 520 km of coastline and 135 km of island border, more than 72 islands, 1,658 sq. km of wetlands, more than 10,000 sq. km of continental shelf, the water surface bears tremendous potentiality for developing tropical fishery-based economy - one of the economic resources of Khanh Hoa province.
According to statistics, Khanh Hoa is home to more than 2,030 species of sea creatures, of which 130 species have high economic value, 1,600 species are crustaceans, and 2,500 species are scallops and clams. There are also many varieties of seaweed and seabirds in the province. Sea fish resources in the exclusive economic zone are estimated to exceed 150,000 tonnes per year, ensuring stable catching of 70,000 tonnes per year.
According to the Khanh Hoa socio-economic reports in 2008, the provincial gross domestic product (GDP) reached VND10,072 billion (based on base price in 1994), equal to 100.31 percent of the plan and up 11.34 percent from 2007. Notably, agriculture and forestry-fishery product production increased 3 percent. Particularly, fishing output rose 2.36 percent, shrimp meat production expanded 21.32 percent, the production value of agricultural, forestry fishery was estimated to reach VND2,539 billion, up 4.63 percent over 2007, of which agricultural production value was VND1,159.6 billion up 8.6 percent year on year and fisheries production value was VND1,339 billion, up 2.36 percent. Seafood export revenue accounted for 60-65 percent of the sector production value, ranking the fifth in the country.
In fishing operations, the province has developed from a simple, rudimentary, small-scaled fishery sector relying on near-the-shore activities to a mechanised sector capable of operating far offshore. In addition to offshore development, the province also stabilises its inshore activities to harmonise its catching and protecting purposes to develop maritime resources and the ecological environment. The number of motorised fishing boats increased rapidly while manually operated boats decreased gradually. In 1991, the number of engine-powered fishing boats was 3,500 units while manually operated boats were 1,400. In 2009, the number of engine-powered boats was 10,363 units with a combined capacity of 340,000 CV, nearly 6 times from that in 1991. High-capacity boats increased exponentially, especially from the beginning of 1997 when the credit programme for building offshore fishing boats initiated. The province had about 39 high-capacity offshore fishing vessels at that time but the number reached 558 units in 2009. As a result, the proportion of offshore fishing has increased rapidly, with annual output of 65,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes.
Khanh Hoa province is known for having ecological diversity, relatively favourable for the development of aquaculture forms, from a sideline self-subsistence production to modern commercial models found in all freshwater, brackish water and salty water aquaculture and directed toward sustainability, environmental protection and harmony with other economic sectors. In recent years, aquaculture has actually diversified, not only focused on tiger shrimps, lobsters, groupers, pearls, crabs, sea cartilage as in previous years but also on high-valued species like Boleopthalmus chinensis, holothurians, abalone, Amphiprion frenatus, seabass, pomfret,…
In the field of seafood processing, Khanh Hoa now has 44 export processing factories, including 26 frozen food units, three canned food plants and 15 dried food processing facilities. As many as 22 units have been certified compliance codes for export to European markets. Most export processing factories meet the industry standard certification. This is also a favourable condition for export seafood processing industry of Khanh Hoa to become a modern production industry fully capable of actively integrating and competing on international markets, helping raise the export value of the province in particular and of the whole country in general.
At present, the fisheries sector has become an important economic sector of Khanh Hoa province and played an important role in restructuring agriculture and reducing poverty. From now to 2015 and with vision to 2020, Khanh Hoa province strives to reach fishing output of 120,000 tonnes, including natural catching of 90,000 tonnes, aquaculture of 30,000 tonnes. Export revenue will exceed US$500 million a year.
Thanh Phuong