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03/03/2019 - 07:41

Efficiency from steel-shell ships

The 5 steel-shell ships in the province, since the launch, have proved the efficiency through the sea-fishing trips with the revenue of hundreds of millions of dong or more.

Steel-shell ship made a killing with flag fish

Pleasure after each sea fishing trip

Over 30 years of fishing, Mr. Nguyen Hoi (Thuan An Town, Phu Vang) has never been so happy as today. Since the launch, his steel-shell ship has made more than 10 sea trips. Each trip earned several hundred million dong or more. Subtracting production costs, labor pay (about 10 million dong for each crew member), he made a profit of over 100 million dong after a sea fishing trip.

“Previously, like many fishermen, we went out to the open sea for fishing with the small bamboo boats. We accumulated, borrowed money to build an offshore ship of 90 CV, later upgraded and converted it into that of 300 CV, then 400 CV. Now, having a steel-shell ship worth tens of billions of dong, we not only fish effectively but also head for the open sea safely to the Spratly and Paracel Sea, contributing to the protection of the sovereignty over the sea and islands," Mr. Hoi shared.

With the ships of 300-400 CV capacity, we only could make most sea trips a few dozen to 70-80 nautical miles off shore or a few small trips to Paracel fishery; despite the effective fishing, we are uneasy because of low safety. Whenever in adverse weather conditions, we were in jeopardy because of the ship with wooden shell, small capacity and slow speed. Seafood near the shore (a few dozen nautical miles off) is mainly scads, rudder fish and seafood of little economic value. Since Mr. Hoi's steel-shell ship was launched, most of the sea fishing trips have been made as far as the Spratly and Paracel fisheries to catch high-value fish such as mackerel, ocean tuna and so on.

For more than 2 years, the steel-shell ship of Mr. Tran Van Chien in Phu Thuan Commune (Phu Vang) has taken dozens of trips to Spratly and Paracel fisheries. Each fishing trip lasted from 15 days to the whole month. Thanks to the modern fishing gear together with long-term fishing, the steel-shell ship is more effective than the wooden-shell one. Each fishing trip earns a few hundred million dong or more, sometimes a profit of up to 500 million dong. "Since the steel-shell ship was launched, I have earned a profit of about 2 billion dong. The bank loan and its interest were paid as scheduled," Chien boasted.

According to Mr. Chien, compared with the low-capacity, wooden-shell ship, the large-capacity, steel-shell ship has many outstanding features. Through the operation process, fishermen are very comfortable with steel-shell ships when they head for the open sea for a long time in complicated weather conditions. Whenever listening to bad weather forecasts, the ship promptly moves to a safe shelter thanks to its large capacity and high speed. This is totally different from the low-capacity, wooden-shell ship.

Motivation to strive

By fishermen's calculations, each fishing trip of a steel-shell ship can save 30-35% of fuel in comparison with a wooden-shell ship thanks to its high capacity and speed. All the ships have modern seafood storage holds so that loss can be minimized, and seafood can always be fresh and sold at a high price. The large ship holds store adequate fuel, fresh water and necessities for long-term fishing. Modern fishing gear with the LED system used in the fishing process has saved up to 80% of fuel and so on.

According to Mr. Chien and other ship owners, the biggest difficulty in investing in steel-shell ship is a huge source of capital. Each ship costs about 20 billion dong, of which 20-30% are equity, and the rest is bank loan. Large capital borrowing makes it difficult for fishermen to repay the principal and bank interest.

With the profit of several hundred million dong or more from sea fishing trips, it is possible to repay the debt, but unfortunately, that the trips make no profit, or even losses will be a concern for fishermen. However, this is also the motivation for the steel-shell ship fishermen to determine to reach the sea not only to repay the bank loan but also to get rich from the sea.

Chairman of Phu Vang District People's Committee, Mr. La Phuc Thanh judged that while many ships in other provinces were rusted and degraded only in a short period of operation, the steel-shell ships in the province remained safe, and the fishermen were comfortable. Since the launch, the steel-shell ships have been unproblematic; their safety is greater than that of wooden-shell ships and so on. Although a steel-shell ship can cost as many as tens of billions of dong, the economic efficiency is great with many outstanding features, safety in the process of reaching the sea and so on.

What the local authorities and fishermen worry about at present is that the system of fishing ports and locks in the province is degraded; the scale does not meet the demand of anchoring, landing and sheltering from storms, especially for steel-shell ships. Rivulets at Thuan An Port and Phu Thuan and Phu Hai Locks are deposited, making it difficult for vessels to enter or leave.

Mr. Dau Khac Thanh of Dong A Seafood Investment and Development Joint Stock Company (one of the steel-shell ship building units) said that the quality determinant of the steel-shell ship is that the shipbuilding must comply with scientific design, and the quality of materials such as hull, shell, paint and so on must be ensured. As for the ship-designing technique, the factors suitable for the capacity, experience, and tradition of fishing must be taken into account

Story and photo: HAI TRIEU

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