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Ca Mau fishes for title as Delta’s top seafood exporter
09 | 10 | 2007
Ca Mau Province has set its sights on becoming the top seafood exporter in the Mekong Delta region by 2010 with shipments of US$1 billion.

Seafood has become a spearhead industry in the country’s southernmost province after authorities began an economic restructuring programme in 2001. It targets exports of $650 million this year.

Since the restructuring began, the province has gradually shifted focus from crops to fisheries, focusing on shrimp and fish farming and seafood processing.

Pham Van Duc, the director of the local Fisheries Department, said output had risen consistently due to bold investment in shrimp and fresh water fish farming and modern techniques to increase productivity and quality.

The province had also focused on expanding area under fish and shrimp farms, developing fisheries-related services, and seafood processing, he said.

Most processing plants have attracted domestic and foreign investments which they have used to upgrade technologies and diversify products to push exports to lucrative markets like the US, Japan, and EU.

This year, the provincial authorities have upgraded fishing ports and services, and built more shelters to harbour fishing vessels during floods and storms.

Ca Mau has 26 seafood processing plants with a total capacity of 102,000 tonnes. Most have acquired international certificates for quality, food sanitation, and food safety requirements stipulated by the Ministry of Fisheries.

Weathering the weather

The seafood industry, however, faces difficulties related to unfavourable weather which causes diseases among shrimp and catfish, poor irrigation systems, and a severe lack of funds for develop aquaculture and preventing pollution.

The province needs VND4 trillion ($250 million) to upgrade irrigation systems for fish and shrimp farming, but can only allot VND20 billion ($1.2 million) from its budget.

The fisheries sector needs to focus on deep-sea fishing to net bigger and better quality hauls. The province has a fishing fleet of 3,500 vessels.

Source: Vietnam News
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