Joy for a good harvest
Fisherman Do Van Thanh in Vinh Thanh Commune (Phu Vang) said never before has offshore fishing encountered so many difficulties as this year. Gasoline prices skyrocketed, sometimes one and a half times higher, increasing many items for offshore activities. Besides, the decrease in the price of seafood caused some fishing trips to lose or earn low profits, and some ships to lie on the shore. In general difficult circumstances, many boats still reach out to sea and continuously stick to the sea, achieving efficiency.
Mr. Thanh said, "Fishermen often say "fake sea", so shrimp and fish are not always in abundance. Therefore, we have to constantly stick to the sea, and anticipate the new shoal of fish. The bottom-deck gillnet fleet in Vinh Thanh Commune has effectively done this. Many boats have an average revenue of 1.5-2 billion VND/boat/year, and some boats have up to 3 billion VND. Minus the expenses of about 30-40%, each boat earns an average profit of 1-1.2 billion VND.”
Although not the most effective year, this is the year when the fleet of offshore fishing boats in Vinh Thanh and the whole province, in general, is assessed as more effective than in the past few years. Aside from the gillnet fleet, the seine net fleet in combination with light also operates effectively. Many boats have an average revenue of 1-1.5 billion VND/boat/year and a profit of 700 million to over 1 billion VND.
A big catch of scad netted
Effective fishing boats enable logistics service boats to earn high profits. According to the survey by the relevant agency, local government, the logistics service boats in the province make a profit of 1-1.5 billion VND, and some boats a profit of 2-3 billion VND. This is also shown by the additional increase of 90% in logistics service boats in 2022.
Dr. Nguyen Quang Vinh Binh, Director of the Provincial Fisheries Sub-Department judged that early in the year, the slow arrival of fishery products and the increase in input costs due to high gasoline price get the high-powered, fuel-consuming fleet to encounter many difficulties in offshore fishing.
However, from the middle of the south harvest, the fishing boats reached their output, and the oil price began to fall, so many fishing boats had a high income. The seine fishing for scad was quite effective, leading to the effective operation of logistics service boats specializing in purchasing scad.
The logistics service fleet needs to be invested by the provincial fishermen with the largest boat size, followed by the gillnet and seine boats. Trawl net (rake net) boats in the province have the smallest fleet scale, almost contrary to other provinces (usually having the largest fleet). This is a pretty good signal because the rake nets are not environmentally friendly, often causing damage to the bottom and vegetation.
The efficiency from offshore fishing this year is also shown by the increase of 21 offshore fishing boats against the previous year. Due to the termination of the quota for offshore boat development assigned by the Central Government - that is to say, building offshore boats are not permitted, the provincial fishermen investing in developing offshore fishing boats had to buy the fishing boats (with the same quota) from fishermen in other provinces. In 2022, fishermen bought 21 offshore fishing boats from outside the province, equivalent to a 5% increase in the capacity of the offshore fleet in the province.
High-powered fishing boats not only meet the requirements of long-term operation but also offer the opportunity to reach out to the sea. This year, the whole province had 370 fishing boats registering for fishing in the distant sea. So far more than 1,330 sea trips have joined in fishing in remote waters with the number of days present up 2.6 times against 2021. Offshore fishing activities also contribute to strengthening the national security and defense in Paracel waters.
The work against IUU (illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing) is synchronously and drastically implemented in conformity with the plans and actions of the central and local governments. The results showed that Thua Thien Hue fishing boats did not violate illegal fishing in foreign waters. The monitoring devices for fishing boats (VMS) are installed on 417 fishing boats under the law.
The total of fishing boats in the province registered and put into use is 613, 417 of which are offshore fishing boats with a length of 15 meters or more. The fishing port infrastructure works (Thuan An, Tu Hien), and Phu Hai storm shelter were invested in and upgraded to meet the need for anchorage and storm shelter for the province's offshore fleet.
The upgrading and investment in complete equipment at the shore station and the Fisheries Control Representative Office at Thuan An Fishing Port are given attention, basically meeting the operational requirements for the strict control of fishing boats. The inshore fishing activities also have positive signals: some marine products are restored; the output is more abundant, and fishing is quite effective.
Story and photos: Hoang Trieu