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VIET SEAFOOD

US Demand For Vietnamese Tuna Expected To Increase

US demand for Vietnamese tuna is expected to increase this year, the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Producers and Exporters (VASEP) announced.
The US must increase tuna imports from Asian countries because of restriction on tuna imports from Mexico, the association said.
Last year, the US was the largest export market for Vietnamese tuna. The export value of tuna in the US increased last year by 31.8 percent to USD 171 million compared to 2010.
Meanwhile, Vietnam’s total tuna export value reached USD 379.3 million in 2011, 29.4 percent higher than the previous year, the association said.
Fishermen have had massive tuna hauls so far this year, the association said. However, tuna catches are subject to strict controls and must abide by the Agreement on International Migration of Fish, which comes under the Convention on International Law of the Sea.
When the fish migrate to Vietnamese waters, catches are subject to The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). The international organization strictly controls tuna catches worldwide, even though Viet Nam is not a member.
Vietnamese fishermen and tuna-exporting enterprises will face challenges selling their fish abroad, the association said, adding that it would be in Viet Nam's interests to join the WCPFC to develop trade marks for Vietnamese tuna products.
Additionally, tuna-exporting enterprises should invest in cold-storage facilities and large fishing boats, while helping fishermen to reduce costs and boost efficiency.
Those enterprises should also expand export markets in co-operation with foreign partners, the association said.
If these conditions are met, Viet Nam could drastically increase tuna exports this year, VASEP said.
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