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THE TUNA FISHERIES OF VIETNAM


THE TUNA FISHERIES OF VIETNAM -
AN OVERVIEW OF AVAILABLE INFORMATION
A.D. Lewis
April 2005
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ACRONYMS
ADB Asian Development Bank
ALMRV Assessment of Living Marine Resources in Vietnam (DANIDA)
APFIC Asia Pacific Fisheries Commission
DANIDA Danish International Development Agency
DOFI Province Fisheries Department
EII Earth Island Institute
FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
FICen Fisheries Informatics Centre, MOFI
FSPS Fisheries Sectoral Programme Support (DANIDA)
GEF Global Environment Facility
GSO General Statistics Office
JICA Japanese Agency for International Cooperation
LOSC Law of the Sea Convention
MOFI / MoFi Ministry of Fisheries
MoSTE Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment
NADAREP National Directorate of Fisheries Resources Exploitation and Protection,
MOFI
NORAD Norwegian Aid
RIMF Research Institute for Marine Fisheries (MOFI)
SEAFDEC South East Asian Fisheries Development Center
SPC Secretariat of the Pacific Community
STOFA Strengthening of the Fisheries Administration (DANIDA)
UNFSA United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement
VASEP Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers
VINAFA Vietnam Fisheries Association
VNA Vietnam News Agency
VND Vietnamese currency (Dong)
WCPFC Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission
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1. INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background
The tuna fisheries of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam have not been included until now
in existing statistical coverage of the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. Although very
little information has been available, there has been a general awareness that the fishery
was expanding quite rapidly, exploiting tuna stocks which will fall within the area of
competence of the WCPF Commission.
Efforts were therefore made in recent years to include Vietnam in scientific activities
concerning WCPO tuna stocks. Vietnam was represented for the first time at the fifteenth
meeting of the Standing Committee on Tuna and Billfish, 22-27 July 2002, Honolulu. The
National Fishery Report presented by Mr. Duong Long Tri, Vice-Director, Fisheries
Information Centre (FICen), Ministry of Fisheries (MoFi), Hanoi, contains the following
information (SCTB15, Working Paper NFR-26):
“Vietnam's sea area is situated in the region where tuna resources is abundant.
Therefore, in recent years, tuna fisheries in Vietnam has developed rapidly. Because of
insufficient statistical system, data on the catch of tuna is not available. However, it was
estimated for the year 2001 the catch was around 20,000 tons.
“Target species were mainly bigeye tuna and yellowfin tuna. Resources of bigeye tuna
and yellowfin tuna is mainly distributed in the central region. Unfortunately, up to now,
researches into these resources have not been paid much attention to, those do not
meet demands in information on tuna for fishermen.
“Tuna longlines have been main fishing method used in tuna fisheries. It develops
strongly in the central provinces, e.g. Da Nang, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa and Binh Dinh.
The fishing season is from November to March; 70% of tuna catch was bigeye tuna.
“Although purse-seine has appeared long time ago in Vietnam, tuna purse-seine does
not develop. Its target species is mainly small tuna such as frigate mackerel (Auxis
thazard) and bullet tuna (Auxis rochei).”
“It is also known that during 2001, exports from Vietnam to Japan amounted to 1,018 t of
yellowfin and 530 t of bigeye and exports to the United States were 3,367 t of yellowfin
and 666 t of bigeye. Assuming that (a) these catches were taken by longline; (b) rejects
account for 30% of the landed catch of yellowfin and bigeye and (c) yellowfin and bigeye
account for 40% of the longline catch of all species, then these exports correspond to a
longline catch of about 14,400 t. Note that the species composition of exports (79%
yellowfin and 21% bigeye) is in contrast to the estimate of 70% bigeye in the longline
catch that was presented to SCTB15” (commentary by Lawson, SPC/OFP Statistician)
While it appears that the fisheries for oceanic tunas in Vietnam have developed rapidly
in recent years, the overview presented above is lacking in detail and missing important
components. Further information is required in order to evaluate the relative importance
of this fishery in the WCPO. A study “to compile information concerning tuna fisheries in
Vietnam” was therefore commissioned by the SPC Oceanic Fisheries Programme, with
the following terms of reference to guide the consultant (Dr. Antony Lewis) for the study.
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1.2 Terms of reference
While in Vietnam, (the consultant) will attempt to compile the following types of
information concerning pelagic tuna fisheries:
􀁹 fleet structure and numbers of vessels by gear type (e.g. number of companies,
names of major companies, their home ports, types and numbers of vessels per
company);
􀁹 vessel and gear attributes (e.g. vessel construction material, age of vessels, GRT
and/or length of vessels, number of crew, tuna carrying capacity, storage methods,
gear types used, etc.);
􀁹 operational information (e.g. trip duration, areas fished, number of hooks per set,
target species, etc.);
􀁹 estimates of annual catches and/or landings, by species (target and non-target), for
each gear type;
􀁹 information on post-harvest processing; and
􀁹 information on marketing (locally and for export).
If it is not possible to compile certain types of information, then you should attempt to
determine the sources of the information (including contact information within companies
or agencies) and the availability of this information to the OFP.
The compiled information will be presented in a MS Word document.
12 working days and two days for write-up were allocated to the study, preferrably to be
undertaken in March 2005.
1.3 Approach to the study
The consultant arrived from Philippines on March 15th 2005, and spent all or part of 15
days in-country, with half of this time spent in Hanoi and the remainder in four coastal
provinces (Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Ba Ria Vung Tau) which were believed to
produce the majority of the tuna catch, and Ho Chi Minh City, location of much of the
processing and export capacity. Information was gathered from discussion with
appropriate State authorities (MoFi Departments and organizations), Provincial
Fisheries Departments (DOFI), donor and development assistance agencies, state and
private fishing and processing companies, and from visits to fish ports, processing plants
and markets. Other information was accessed from industry websites and a range of
relevant literature concerning Vietnam and its fishing industry. Annex 3 lists the itinerary
of the visit, Annex 4 the persons contacted during the visit, along with a list of useful
websites, and Annex 5 the various information sources quoted.
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1.4 Vietnam and its fisheries
Features of the area
The coastline of Vietnam lies between 8°23'N and 21°39'N and is over 3,400 km long.
The EEZ 1 is around one million km2 in extent , with a large area of continental shelf
(352,400 km2) and numerous islands and reefs, including the off-lying Spratly Islands
(Truong Sa), many of which are claimed by Vietnam. The Paracel Islands (Hoang Sa),
further north but closer inshore, were seized by China in 1974. The shelf area is widest
in the south-west, and narrowest in the south central area where the 200m isobath
comes to within 10 nautical miles of the coast.
Figure 1 shows Vietnam in relation to the South China Sea (SCS) and its neighbouring
states, and bathymetric features of the area. The SCS is a semi-enclosed sea with
complex topography – broad shallows in the south-west (Sunda Shelf), a deep central
basin, and numerous reefs, islands and plateaux scattered throughout. The area is
subject to a seasonal monsoon system, with a weaker south-westerly summer monsoon
from April to August, a stronger north-easterly monsoon from November to March, and
transition periods with variable winds and variable surface currents in between (Chu et
al., 1999). The strong northward setting Vietnam Coastal Current predominates during
the winter monsoon, whilst two large cyclonic eddies tend to predominate during the
summer monsoon. The thermocline depth is generally shallow (< 100m) throughout
much of the SCS.
The EEZ
Vietnam signed the Law of the Sea Convention (LOSC) in December 1982, and ratified
in July 1994. It has marine jurisdictional boundaries with Cambodia, China, Indonesia,
Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, and has resolved boundaries with China
(Agreement for the Gulf of Tonkin, 2001), Cambodia (agreement on historic waters,
1982) and Thailand (agreement on boundary delimitation, 1997).
Marine fisheries in general
The fisheries sector is recognised as a key economic sector with an annual contribution
of 4 - 5 % to the national GDP, 9 -10% to the national export turnover, and the creation
of millions of employment opportunities for the national labour force (Ministry of
Fisheries, 2001). With the introduction of the Government’s doi moi (renewal)
programme) in 1986, the fishing industry, along with others, has grown rapidly, with
aquaculture the most spectacular performer, involving shrimp, catfish (basa and tra) and
many other fish species. There is a Fisheries Master Plan to the Year 2010 which
places strong emphasis on the development of offshore fisheries, both to generate
export income and to relieve pressure on already over-exploited inshore resources.
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The total EEZ is in general assumed to be approx. 1 000 000 km2, but cannot be measured precisely due to disputes about
boundaries with the neighbouring countries. Neither can the shelf area. The Vietnamese Authorities use the following definition:
"Vietnamese sea areas" are the sea areas under the sovereignty jurisdiction of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam according to the
5 December 1977 Declaration of the Government of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and the 1982 United Nations Convention
on the Law of the Sea ratified on 23 June 1994 by the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, including the
internal waters, the territorial sea, the contiguous zone, the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf. (FAO Country
Profile)
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Figure 1. Vietnam and the South China Sea
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In 2004, total fishery production of over 3 million mt was reported by MoFI, a 7%
increase over 2003, of which 1.9 million mt came from marine capture fisheries, and 1.1
million mt from aquaculture. The main fishing areas were in the south and around the
Mekong delta.
Demersal fisheries are said to account for 30-35% of the catch by capture fisheries, and
pelagic fisheries around 65-70% (Tuan, 2003), with this ratio varying to some extent by
area; in the south, with extensive areas of shallow water, this ratio becomes close to
50/50. Otherwise, there is no available breakdown of the catch by gear or species
Offshore fisheries2 reportedly account for just 15% of marine production, or around
300,000 mt. Most of this would be taken in “shallow offshore” areas (50-100m depth) in
the form of trawled fish and small pelagics.
At the end of 2001, Vietnam had nearly 80,000 fishing vessels, with a total horse power
(HP) of 3.7 million (average 46 HP), and just over 6,000 vessels with > 90 HP, these
vessels constituting the offshore fishing fleet. By the end of 2003, this fleet had grown to
6,700, or 6% per year. In 1997, it was estimated that fishing methods in use by the
offshore fleet were as follows; trawling 34.2% of vessels, purse seining 21.1%, gillnetting
20.4%, longlining 17.3%, lift netting 5%, and other methods 2%.
More than 60% of the catch goes to domestic consumption, 18% to export and 20% for
other uses eg aquaculture feed
Resource potential
The marine fish stocks in the Vietnam EEZ were recently evaluated at 4.2 million mt,
with a TAC of 1.7 million mt, including 850,000 mt of demersal fish, 700,000 mt of
pelagic fish and 120,000 mt of “oceanographic pelagic “ fish (Globefish, 2004). The 2004
catch however exceeds that TAC, and dramatically declining CPUEs and smaller fish
sizes have been reported in many inshore fisheries.
Studies by the Research Institute of Marine Fisheries estimate that the country's offshore
reserves are 1.93 million mt, of which 770,000 mt might be exploitable. The country's
annual deep-sea catch has reached around 300,000 tons of marine products, about 15%
of the total reserves and 40% of the total fishing capacity (Globefish, 2004).
Long (2002) reports most oceanic tuna and associated species as currently underexploited,
with yellowfin and bigeye at the 30% exploitation level, skipjack and sailfish
20%, and mahi mahi just 10% .
.
2 offshore is generally taken to mean water deeper than 50m in central areas and 20m in southern areas.
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2. THE TUNA FISHERY
2.1 History
The potential of the offshore fishery for tuna has long been recognized, as noted in the
previous section. Interest in realizing this potential was initially generated by a resource
survey utilizing longline and gillnets in the early 1990s. The Government response to the
previously slow growth in the offshore fishery was the development of a new
modernization drive in 1997 - the National Target Program on Offshore Fishing
Development. It was designed to provide preferential loans for fishermen to upgrade
their fleets, with the goal of creating a fleet of around 800 deep-sea fishing vessels which
would exploit Vietnam's exclusive economic zone (EEZ). This was also intended to
relieve pressure on over-exploited inshore areas. The Program would also improve
logistics and support facilities. Investment in facilities that would process tuna products
for export was also encouraged. The tuna fishery has grown steadily since that time,
most notably in the south central provinces of Da Nang, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen and Khanh
Hoa, but also to a lesser extent in Binh Thuan and Baria Vung Tau.
2.2 Species taken
Annex 1 provides list of pelagic species observed during the study, with Vietnamese
names.
Those defined as oceanic tunas are asterisked in this list and include yellowfin, bigeye,
albacore3, and skipjack tuna
2.3 Gear types
The main gears used to catch oceanic tunas and associated species include:
Longline and handline
Purse seine (small) and other encircling nets
Gillnets
Trolling
No pole-and-line or large purse seine (> 250 GT) vessels are involved in the fishery.
A recent SEAFDEC monograph catalogues most gear types used to take tunas and
other pelagic species in Vietnam waters (SEAFDEC , 2002).
LONGLINE
Large vessels
Although near-shore handlining from small vessels for tunas has presumably been
carried out traditionally in Vietnam, and other nations have long fished in the SCS (eg
Japan, Taiwan - see Kume 1973), modern longlining appears to have started in Vietnam
only in the early 1990s, with a JICA project (Assessment of Pelagic Resources within the
Economic Zone of Vietnam) carried out from 1992-94 in Central Vietnam waters. In
addition to extensive survey work, technology transfer and provision of second hand
vessels was involved, this representing the start of the offshore longline fishery. The
State Company ESFICO (East Sea Fisheries Corporation) was initially involved, but
several other companies are now involved in the fishery. Most vessels are ex-
Japanese, Korean or Taiwanese, but three of the present ESFICO fleet of around 15
3 . Albacore has been included as it is occasionally taken by longliners fishing in more northern areas (Hoe,
pers.com), but was not seen during the visit.
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vessels have been built in Vietnam to Japanese design. These appear now to be made
of composite (FRP) material, and FRP vessels are now regularly constructed at various
locations in the country eg Qui Nhon. There are now at least 3 companies operating a
number of larger vessels (reportedly 6-15 vessels per company, 350 HP up) for offshore
tuna longlining, targetting bigeye and yellowfin tuna for export. Few detailed operational
details are available. Son (2004) suggests that HCM-based vessels operated mostly in
eastern areas south of 130 S in the earlier period 1995-2000.
Small vessels
Smaller wooden vessels continue to operate from ports in South Central Vietnam, using
either handline but increasingly, short longlines in conjunction with line haulers and even
line shooters. The number, size and operational range of these vessels have all been
increasing with Government incentives provided for vessels with engine HP > 90 which
can fish further offshore.
The table below summarizes much of the available information on the two longline
vessel types which target large tunas in the offshore fishery
Table 1. Summary of vessel and fishery characteristics of small and large longline
tuna vessels in Vietnam
Small vessels Larger vessels
Ownership Family/cooperative Corporate- state and private
Vessel size 15-18m LOA, and smaller
90-150 HP main engine
> 20m LOA
350-600 HP main engine
Number of
vessels
Binh Dinh – 500 vessels
Phu Yen – 500
Khanh Hoa – 300 (500 plus ?)
Smaller numbers in other provinces
eg Da Nang, Quang Nai, Quang
Nam, Ninh Tuan, Binh Thuan, Ba
Ria Vung Tau
Total ~ 1500 – 1800 ?
Main companies
Esfico (12 vessels)
Dai Doung (15)
VietTan (10)
Ocean Joint Stock (6)
Hai Vuong ?
Total ~ 45
Fishing area Up to 100 km (400 ?) from shore 6o-200 N 1100 –1200E
Trip length 5-15 days 30-40 days, but transship every 5
days at sea (carrier vessels)
Hooks Mostly 300-500, but some 800;
smaller vessels still use handline or
short longline
1,500 - 2,000
Bait Flying fish ? local frozen fish Local squid, frozen round scad etc
Fishing depth 50-70m 100-150m
Set time Daytime ? around logs for h/line Late afternoon
Spp. composition Mostly yellowfin (75%) Bigeye predominant (75%)
Catch per year 8-10t p.a. (some larger) 50 - 100t p.a.?? much more fro
some vessels ?
Onboard
handling
Ice RSW/ice slurry (- 50C - + 50C)
Catch disposal 35-40% suitable for export
60-65% for fresh consumption/can
> 90% for export (fish > 20 kgs)
Operating ports Qui Nhon, Tam Quan, Tuy Hoa,
NhaTrang, many other smaller
Nha Trang, Vung Tau, HCMC
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Range 400 km ? To 1200 E (near Philippines)
Season November – March, some all year All year
Estimated total
tuna catch
12,000 – 18,000t 4,000t
ENCIRCLING NETS
Tunas
There are no large modern purse seine vessels currently operating in Vietnam, as in
other WCPO countries. There have been unsuccessful efforts to mount purse seine
fishing trials in Vietnam waters, through a Philippines/US joint venture, and efforts to
conclude a survey agreement with one of the larger Philippine companies, which have
not thus far been successful.
Small wooden vessels, typically < 20m in length, operate from ports in the South Central
provinces, where the fishery for small tunas and associated species is well developed.
The nets used are typically 300m by 70m, and are generally hauled using the capstan
winch drawing from the main engine. Judging from the species composition of the catch
of vessels seen unloading in Quy Nhon Fish Port, the catch is dominated by skipjack,
with large amounts (20-30% ?) of by-catch (mahi, rainbow runners, wahoo, plus shark,
ocean trigger fish and barracuda. This large amount of by-catch would suggest most
sets are log sets – no FADs (cha rao locally) are apparently in use in the South-Central
area, but are used to some extent in the fisheries for small pelagics in the South. Sets
are probably made in the early morning, although some accounts suggest day sets are
common.
There are few data on vessel numbers, but provincial data suggest the following
numbers of purse seiners for some provinces. It is assumed that all of the vessels in
these “tuna” provinces target primarily tuna.
Phu Yen – 40 purse seine vessels
Binh Dinh – 500 p/s vessels
Nha Trang – fewer (50 ?), based on anecdotal information, with more gill net vessels
operating in this area.
Other south-central provinces – unknown (possibly 50 ?)
Possible total ~ 650 small tuna purse seine vessels
If the extrapolated total number of offshore purse seine vessels was around 1,420 in
2003 (see earlier), then the balance (770, or 54%) are presumably vessels targetting
small pelagics in southern and northern provinces.
Although Tri (2002) suggests in the Vietnam NFR presented at SCTB 15 that the main
species taken by small purse seine are frigate tuna (Auxis thazard) and bullet tuna (A.
rochei), the only unloadings observed (Quy Nhon) were predominantly skipjack, but with
a good proportion of oceanic by-catch, comprising mahi mahi, rainbow runner, wahoo,
trigger fish, barracuda, shark and others. Several processors also indicated that skipjack
are the predominant species in the purse seine catch. There are however known to be
surround net fisheries out of Vung Tau targeting Auxis spp. for special overseas
markets, and vessels operating in more southern area would be expected to take more
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neritic species, such as longtail tuna (Thunnus tonggol) and oriental bonito (Sarda
orientalis). Both species were observed in Ho Chi Minh markets.
What constitutes a reasonable annual catch for the tuna purse seiners is not certain. The
vessels in Quy Nhon appear to unload 4-5 mt per trip, assumed to be around 75% tuna.
In a seasonal fishery (March-October, or eight months), perhaps 20 successful trips (10-
15 days) might be made per year, with an average catch per trip of 4-5 mt. This would
equate to 80 – 100 mt of tuna per vessel p.a., which may be conservative. Assuming the
higher figure, this would result in an estimated catch of 6,500 mt per year from the
tuna purse seiners
The catch seems mostly to be sold for processing, with presumably much consumed
locally, at least in the south and central areas, where tuna is consumed as a preferred
species (see later).
In Nha Trang, some of the catch from purse seiners (and gillnetters) is processed into
hard smoked arabushi, whilst some is soft smoked and some canned.
Small pelagics
In addition to the tuna purse seine fishery, larger fisheries for various small pelagics
operate in south western areas (Kien Gang, Ca Mau), off the Mekong Delta and on the
offshore shelf, for round scads, sardines, anchovy etc, but there must be some small
tuna by-catch for these operations, including (reportedly) longtail tuna, frigate tuna, bullet
tuna, eastern little tuna and oriental bonito. Larger vessels (~ 300 HP) and larger nets
may be used (700-800 m by 100m), with night fishing with lights and some use of FADs.
Newer vessels may be equipped with hydraulic winches, whilst others still use capstan
winches.
There is also a small pelagics fishery in the north (Gulf of Tonkin), with smaller boats
targetting mainly scads, sardines and anchovies, and large boats targetting scads,
mackerels and tunas. Given the large contribution of small pelagics to the overall marine
capture harvest, presumably numbers of small pelagic vessels are to be found in all
coastal province ports.
GILLNET
No gillnet vessel unloading was observed, although gillnet vessels were observed in
several ports, most notably Nha Trang. The earlier (1997) data suggested that just over
20% of the offshore vessels fishing in 1997 were gillnet vessels, equivalent to 1,367
vessels within the offshore fleet in 2003.
The catch by gillnet vessels is likely to vary considerably by area – an early RIMF report
on gillnet trials in offshore waters indicates that “the percentage of skipjack tuna caught
by gillnet in the total catch was highest (25.3%), then followed by frigate mackerel (8.9%)
and bullet tuna (3.4%). No details are given on the balance of the catch (60%), but
presumably included shark, mahi mahi, wahoo, Spanish mackerel, eastern little tuna,
and possibly longtail tuna and oriental bonito.
By contrast, gillnetting trials in Spratly Islands produced mostly skipjack “62.7 - 86.6% of
total production, with a length (LCF) of 40 - 68 cm”.
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With the international ban on use of large drift nets, most gill nets in use are reportedly
less than one kilometer in length, though this has not been confirmed by direct
observation.
There is a large fleet of gillnetters in Nha Trang, with reportedly up to 200 mt of skipjack
being landed on some days in the season. Some of this fish is processed into hard
smoked (arabushi) and soft smoked tuna, whilst some is supplied to canneries.
Gillnet operations in the shallow waters of the south presumably take large quantities of
longtail tuna and oriental bonito, both of which is reported processed for export in Kien
Giang province (see later). Both species were observed fresh in HCM markets.
With an average annual catch of 50 mt of oceanic tunas (neritic tunas will also be taken)
suggested for the 1,400 gillnet vessels (plus considerable amounts of by-catch),
the gillnet catch of oceanic tuna species is estimated at 7,000 mt.
OTHER GEARS
Trolling occurs, but is apparently not a common capture method for tunas in Vietnam.
Lift net was the primary gear for 5% of offshore vessels in 1997. Not much known of the
operation of this gear, but presumably small inshore pelagics (eg anchovies, sardines)
are targetted, as is the case elsewhere, with occasionally some juvenile tuna taken.
2.3 Tuna research and biological data on the tuna fishery
The Research Institute for Marine Fisheries (RIMF), established in 1975 and formerly
known as RIMP, has for some time, had a strong focus on offshore pelagic fishing
surveys, trials and biological research involving gillnet and, until recently, longline trials,
as well as some fishery oceanographic research. Some research (resource survey) has
also been carried out at Spratly Islands. Little information from this large body of work
seems to be available, at least in English.
The RIMF website provides some information on ongoing projects (see
http://www.fistenet.gov.vn/english/hethongtochuc/Donvi_SN/vienhs.htm).
Summary information (fishery and biological information) from recent tuna research work
however will be available in a forthcoming major RIMF publication (Son, pers.com).
There may also have been some Soviet oceanographic research in an earlier era, and
during the period 1973-82 Norway provided Vietnam with a new fisheries research
vessel, R/V Bien Dong, and funded a program for research co-operation between RIMP
and IMR, Bergen. Norway also supported technology transfer in fishing vessel building
technology, in fish processing through Norwegian companies and university training.
SEAFDEC has also carried out regional research in Vietnamese waters eg Fisheries
Resource Survey in the waters of Vietnam and the Philippines (SD98-RS01). “The
resource survey focussed on the resources of tuna, oceanic squid and other
highly migratory species and their ecological aspects”. No publication detailing the
results of this work has been located, although SEAFDEC (200?) may provide some
details.
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Some research has also been carried out at provincial level and by the Fisheries
University at Nha Trang, and is reported in various abstracts from the FICen website
(Fisheries Scientific and Technical Abstracts).
General fisheries research cooperation continues under support from a range of donors
(see the MoFi website for a list of donor-funded projects in the fisheries sector)
There are some quite pessimistic views regarding the status of capture fisheries, with a
recent study concluding that “there are large management problems with traditional
capture fisheries due to the simple fact that there are no reliable catch statistics nor
assessments of the major stocks” (Hersoug et al., 2002). With respect to offshore
fisheries, it was noted that “there are no reliable stock assessments giving the complete
picture, but patchy evidence seems to indicate that there are considerably less offshore
resources than originally anticipated. In addition, some of the most productive fishing
grounds are located in heavily disputed waters (the Paracel Islands and the Spratly
Islands), where the fishing operations are limited by a number of security concerns”.
3. TUNA CATCH ESTIMATES
3.1 Official MOFI stats
The Ministry of Fisheries (MoFi) reported in January 2005 that the 2004 “total (fisheries)
catch and aquaculture productivity reached 3.074 million tonnes, an increase of 7.7%
in terms of weight and 11.2% in terms of value compared with that of 2003. Of which,
fishing catch reached 1.92 million tons and aquaculture reached 1.15 million tones”.
Beyond these annual estimates of total catch by sector (marine fisheries, aquaculture,
inland fisheries), detailed fisheries statistics for Vietnam are currently not available.
There are no disaggregated data on catch by species (or species grouping), by gear
type, or province, nor are there any readily accessible information on vessel number by
category (tonnage, HP, LOA etc), province or gear type. Some export data are available.
Dang and Ruckes (2003) note that “under the Prime Minister’s Office, the country has a
statistical system headed by the General Statistical Office (GSO), which has branches at
provincial, district (and commune) administrative levels. The GSO is responsible for
keeping records of fisheries production, trade, and export. In addition, the GSO also
traces demographic data of the sector, income level of various groups of population.
However, data on prices, market transactions, accessibility and consumption of fisheries
products are not available”
The Ministry of Fisheries also maintains a parallel system, using essentially the same
sources, such that a dual system often producing different estimates, prevails, but with
detail on catch by major species largely lost during the data consolidation process.
Retained aggregated details refer only to catch of “fish”, “shrimp” and “others”,
respectively.
MoFi however remains responsible for the collection of the basic fisheries data (for
submission to GSO), and such data are consolidated at provincial level, by the
Department of Fisheries (DOFI) in the 28 coastal provinces and by the Department of
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Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) in the 34 inland provinces. The DOFI (and
DARD) staff appear to undertake this task in addition to their normal work, and have no
formal remit to do so. The data are thus not collected in a standardized or consistent
manner in all provinces, and other difficulties with the system have been noted (FAO,
2003).
Within MoFi, the Fisheries Information Center (FICen) has been directly responsible for
the collection (from Provinces) and dissemination of fisheries statistics in Vietnam. This
role appears to have been reassigned to the Department of Finance and Planning in
MoFi since mid-2004.
There is a general recognition that fisheries statistics in Vietnam need to improve, as a
priority concern of the State, to provide inputs to Development Plans, and effort are now
being made to address this (see later)
Given the above, there are currently no official statistics available on tuna catches
per se within Vietnam waters.
3.2 FAO statistics
Although FAO/FIRM/FIGIS produces nominal tuna catch estimates by
species/country/gear at national level, no such data are obviously available for Vietnam.
Those drawn from the annual landing the FAO Yearbook/website are listed below, and
refer to “tuna-like species not elsewhere included”. It is unclear what the sources of
theses estimates are, and what species are included. If all scombrid species eg
mackerels, neritic tunas, Spanish mackerels etc are included, the estimates seem very
low for a county with a marine catch of close to 2 million mt.
Table 2 Available FAO statistics for Vietnam
Tuna-like fishes nei Vietnam (Area 71)
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
3,200 7,400 7,000 6,500 15,800 30,900 17,500
Kume (1973), in a study of tuna resources of the South China Sea for FAO, reported that
no data were available for tuna catches of Vietnam, although Vietnam was assumed to
be fishing for tunas in the South China Sea.
Recognizing the problems with the existing fisheries statistical system, FAO launched a
project entitled “Training on Statistical Information Management” in 2004, working with
MoFi and the Fisheries Management Information System (FMIS) of the DANIDA -
supported Fisheries Sector Programme Support (FSPS). The project, which concludes in
June/July 2005, has provided training at national and provincial level in data analysis
and application, and strengthened capacity at all levels for decision making and policy
formulation. A Fisheries Yearbook with detailed fisheries statistics, will also be produced
as a key project output, although this is unlikely to incorporate a species breakdown of
the marine catch, beyond the categories “shrimp, fish and others”.
14
3.3 Assessment of Living Marine Resources of Vietnam (ALMRV) estimates
Sampling/resource assessment activity at provincial level by the Assessment of Living
Marine Resources in Vietnam (ALMRV) unit with the DANIDA - funded FSPS has been
carried out in some provinces since 1996, and others since 2000. This has involved
stratified sampling4 of various fleets and gears, through interviews, then deriving catch
(and CPUE) estimates through raising the available data by vessel numbers.
Production estimates developed in this way do not yet enjoy official sanction, and there
may also have been problems with the estimates of vessel numbers used, such that
raising factors have been deemed uncertain.
There appear to be little data collected by species, although “this may not be such a
problem with the tuna longline fishery because of the small number of species involved”.
There may be useful data yet to be retrieved from this source for some provinces.
With entry into force of the new Fisheries Law in July 2004 (see later), there may well be
a strengthened requirement for the submission of catch data as a condition of licence.
This is being explored.
Additionally, a new statistics project entitled “Strengthening capacity of the statistical
system” is proposed for the second phase of FSPS which will commence in 2006. This
will develop a set of indicators for general use, and the statistics will be oriented more for
commercial application.
There are also plans for an overall resource assessment of Binh Dinh Province, a key
tuna production province, which is due to start in October 2005.
3.4 Provincial sources (DOFI) of fisheries data
Although currently not yet fully utilized at national level, the basic data collected at
provincial might well to be useful for the generation of provincial tuna production
statistics. Binh Dinh DOFI, for example, has produced a brochure on Binh Dinh fisheries
which contains useful production figures for capture fisheries and aquaculture, economic
valuations, estimates of resource potential, information on vessel numbers, development
plans and identification of investment opportunities. The raw data on which the report
was based would no doubt yield more detailed information.
Similarly, Phu Yen DOFI has been able to produce a two-page summary of basic
production statistics, and is likely that such information is available for all costal
provinces. Such information for Khanh Hoa, Da Nang, Ba Ria Vung Tau, Quang Nam,
Quang Ngai, Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan provinces, all producing oceanic tuna to some
extent, would be especially useful. Useful anecdotal data, again mostly at provincial
level, is also published in various trade magazines and on the FICen website eg National
Business.
4 Staehr, in FAO (2004) reported that 34 enumerators sample data on a monthly basis from 42 fleets at 62
landing places in 28 coastal provinces, and that Fisheries Profiles by province and ecosystem and Resource
profiles by area were being prepared
15
3.5 Industry sources of capture data
A more laborious approach would be to build up production estimates (and other data
such as species composition of the catch, vessel numbers, gear types and
specifications) by approaching individual operators or companies. Such an approach
may work well for the large vessel longline fishery, for example, where only 4-5
companies and 40 or so vessels are involved, but not for the small vessel longline
fishery, where 15,000 vessels may be involved.
3.6 Exports
Seafood exports of 500,000 mt were recorded in 2004, with frozen shrimp accounting for
half of this. Fish and seafood products constitute the second most important export of
Vietnam after rice and were worth USD 2.35 billion in 2004. The growth of the oceanic
fishery has been largely export-oriented, in accordance with Government plans, and
generic export data seems to have been collected with somewhat more rigour than
capture statistics
The FICen website provides annual export data by item (including tuna as one item),
value and main market destination. This is reproduced for tuna in the table below.
Table 3. Volume and value of tuna exports, 1997-2002
(volume in mt, value in USD million) Source: FICen
2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997
Volume 20,783 17,362 20,734 14,475 5,912 6,388 6,769 2,925
Value 55.05 47.7 77.5 58.6 23 18.5 14.1 6.2
It is believed that these figures include just fresh/frozen tuna products, and not canned
tuna. It is likely however that the figures include both HG & G fresh and frozen tuna, and
frozen processed tuna in various forms (loins, saku, cubes etc), and these figures would
need be raised by perhaps 25% to provide whole fish equivalents.
The steady increase in these exports has been most dramatic since 2000.
Separate figures on exports of canned tuna have not been obtained but are being
sought. It is likely that these may be around 10,000t of whole fish equivalent (see later).
It is unclear if separate figure for tuna-associated species such as mahi mahi, wahoo,
swordfish, marlin etc may be available, or if a more detailed breakdown of the ‘tuna”
category might be available.
3.6 Best estimate of oceanic tuna catch in Vietnam
In the absence of any statistics on tuna catch from official sources, an attempt is made to
estimate the catch of oceanic tuna species in Vietnam in two ways, based on
􀂾 the catch by each major gear type, based on assumptions concerning the
average annual catch per vessel ( see earlier sections) and
􀂾 the catch by province, where summary data have been provided in some cases
by DOFI.
16
These two sets of estimates are tabled as follows:
By gear
Purse seine (650 vessels @ 100t/vessel) 6,500
Small longline (1500 vessels @ 10 t/vessel) 15,000
Large longline (40 vessels @ 100t/vessel) 4,000
Gillnet (1400 vessels @ 50t/vessel) 7,000
Other coastal provinces with fewer data, various gears ~ 10,000
TOTAL ~ 42,500 mt
By province
Binh Dinh – 5,000t small l/line plus 5,000t p/seine 10,000
Phu Yen - 4,150t from 650 small l/l vessels; 40 p/seiners 8,000
Khanh Hoa – 5,000t small l/l plus gillnetters (4,000t) plus ? p/seine 10,000
Other provinces (Gillnet, p/s, small longline) 10,000
Estimated total small vessel catch (possibly) 38,000
Large longline vessel catch – 40 vessels ? @ 100t each avge ? 4,000
TOTAL 42,000 mt
These estimates of a total present catch of around 40,000t of oceanic tunas are
reasonably congruent. They are considerably higher than the only other known estimate
of 20,000t given by Tri at STCB 15 in 2002 (which may include neritic tunas) and the
estimate of 14,400t for the longline fishery in commentary by Lawson (see introduction).
A very crude breakdown of this estimated catch of oceanic species might be as follows:
Skipjack – 19,000 mt, yellowfin – 18,000 mt, bigeye - 5,500 mt
3. POST- HARVEST PROCESSING AND MARKETING
With the strong Government support and incentives for the development of exportoriented
fisheries, considerable capacity to process a range of tuna fishery products has
been developed in recent years. Although there are some companies specializing in the
processing of tuna products, most plants process a range of products including shrimp,
marine and freshwater fish species and cephalopods. Most plants are of a high
standard. VASEP report that, in 2004, “among 405 processors nation-wide, 239 units
met the sector’s food safety and hygienic standards, 153 units were approved to export
to EU, 237 units came up to the Republic of Korea’s export requirements and 295 units
were qualified to export to China. The percentage of value-added products amounted to
35% of the total processed products last year, up from 23% in 2003”.
The total number of these plants processing tuna products is not known, but through a
search of the VASEP membership list, industry and commercial websites, a provisional
list of major and minor tuna product processors with a declared interest in tuna or
associated oceanic species (swordfish, marlin, wahoo, mahi etc) has been compiled
17
(Annex 2). Of the 21 major processors5 (based on available information on annual
processing capacity, turnover and export value) listed, 13 are in Central South provinces
(5 in Khanh Hoa), 6 in Ho Chi Minh City, and 2 in southern provinces. Of the 22 minor
processors listed (these may be simply forwarding agents, or part time processors), 17
are based in HCMC area, 5 in Khanh Hoa, and one in Kien Gang Province. This
distribution contrasts somewhat with the total distribution of processing plants, of which
60% are reported as being located in the southern region, in and around Ho Chi Minh
City, and only 34% in the Central region, and reflects the importance of the Central areas
as the main source of supply of tuna and landings.
Tuna processing and exporting mainly involves
fresh/frozen tuna (whole or HG & G)
frozen processed tuna (semi-processed or value-added product),
canned tuna and
smaller amounts of dried/smoked tuna.
3.1 Fresh/frozen tuna exports
Both large and small longliners supply quality large tuna (bigeye and yellowfin) for
processing, packing and air export as fresh HG&G6 fish to markets, primarily in the US
(80%) but also Japan (20%). Smaller amounts of swordfish, opah and other associated
species may also be exported
About 90% of the large longliner tuna catch is reportedly suitable for export, as opposed
to 20-35% of the small longliner fish. Fish are unloaded in various ports as fishing
grounds shift during the course of the season, but most catch by larger vessels is landed
in Nha Trang, HCMC (Bien Dong) and Vung Tau (Cat Lo), and in a range of home ports
by the small longliners. Most fish are trucked to Ho Chi Minh City or Nha Trang for
packing and export from HCMC.
There appear to be about four main specialist companies packing fresh HG &G tuna for
export, some of which have a degree of vertical integration, with subsidiary fishing
companies catching/supplying fish, and packing and freighting fish.
Some packers/ exporters are also supplying technical assistance to small longliners, to
improve catch, quality and increase the proportion of export-grade fish.
The single processor/packer visited in HCMC appears to pack for over half the large
longline fleet, as well as some of the small longline/handline catch, handling up to 20t
per day, and possibly 4-5,000 mt per year at full capacity. The observed 18t shipment
unloaded and professionally packed (dry ice inserts) was mostly bigeye (est. 70% of the
tuna, average size 35 kgs plus) and yellowfin, with small amounts of opah and swordfish.
Tuna were graded on the packing line, with 2nd grade fish and small (< 25 kg) fish (only
20% of the total) sold for processing. Most product was to be shipped to the US.
Frozen HG & G fish are also exported, by a wider range of companies. It is assumed
this is generally of lesser quality. There are no figures available on the volume of HG &
G tuna exports, but it is assumed that the 20,000t of tuna exports listed include both HG
5 not including tuna canners, for which a separate list has been compiled
6 headed, gilled and gutted – about 85% of whole fish weight
18
& G fresh and frozen, and processed tuna. This may well be an underestimate, as it is
estimated that exports of HG & G fish alone may be of the order of 15,000 mt.
3.2 Tuna processing (frozen)
Seaprodex commenced as the original state-owned processing company in 1978,
initially in HCMC but subsequently with plants throughout the country. Now there are a
large number of private, foreign invested and joint venture companies with modern
technology and meeting international standards.
A great variety of products is now produced, including loins, steaks, saku (shaped
blocks), and cubes. These may be CO treated (probably the majority, especially for the
US market) or untreated/ natural (for Taiwan, Japan and others). Typically other oceanic
species taken with tuna will be processed as well, including mahi, wahoo, swordfish,
marlin and escolar.
One plant visited, in Quy Nhon, was exporting some high quality HG & G tuna (Japan,
mostly YFT) but most was CO-treated (for the US market) in the form of loins, steaks,
saku or cubes; by-catch species were also processed in quantity – mahi, wahoo and
billfish. 40% of the annual throughput of 5,000 mt was said to be tuna, with fish sourced
from Binh Dinh and the two adjoining provinces (Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa), as well as a
small quantity of imported fish (Philippines, Indonesia)
A second plant, in Nha Trang, was producing CO-smoked products from yellowfin, soft
traditional and hard smoke (arabushi) products from skipjack, and CO-smoked products
from mahi, marlin and swordfish, with the yellowfin and mahi/billfish being sourced from
small longline vessels, and skipjack mostly from the large local gillnet fleet and some
purse seiners.
A third plant, in Vung Tau, was producing mostly frozen HG & G yellowfin (~ 1,000 mt
pa), sourced from local longliners and Binh Dinh (Tam Quan), but also frozen round
skipjack (2,000 mt pa) and Auxis for a specialty Spanish market (1,500 mt p.a), and
some longtail tuna. CO processing was also available.
The products are sold to markets in many countries, with the US the largest single
market, but a long list of others, including Australia.
There are no separate statistics on exported frozen tuna products (semi-processed and
value added), but they must represent a large proportion of the official figure of 20,000t.
The companies listed would seem to have a processing capacity far in excess of 20,000t
but supply appears to be the main constraint, with tuna supplies often highly seasonal,
and quality often a problem for the fish sourced from small vessels.
3.3 Canneries
Halong Canfoco, in Haiphong, started as the original State company canning seafood in
1957. Now privatized (joint stock company), the company processes meat, vegetables
and frozen products, but is reportedly still the largest tuna canner.
At least three other companies can tuna as a major product line. Their canned products
can be routinely found in local supermarkets, along with Halong Canfoco, and are also
exported. It is not known what proportion of the product is for domestic consumption and
export respectively.
19
Details of these companies, one based in the north (Halong Canfoco - Haiphong) and
three in the south, are given below (Table 4). The EII website reports 6 Vietnam
companies as certified on its list, including Canfoco, HDE (and a subsidiary), plus
Everwin Industrial Co., Yueh Chyang Canned Food and Foodtech. There is no
information to suggest the last three companies are significant tuna canners.
The markets for Vietnam canned tuna appear to be widespread, with various countries,
including the EU, Iraq, Egypt and Malta named as markets for canned tuna.
 
NOTE: Other companies processing marine products may can tuna from time to time, but are not regarded
as mainstream tuna canners.
Assuming that the four canners must pack a minimum of ¼ million cases per (~ 2,500t
p.a. whole fish equivalent) and Halong Canfoco may pack more, a national pack in
excess of 10,000t whole fish equivalent, say 15,000t, seems likely.
Most fish packed is presumed to be purse seine skipjack from the Central-South
provinces, as well as second grade longline-caught yellowfin (and bigeye) tuna. The
canning company based in Kien Gang reportedly packs quantities of longtail tuna and
bonito, the primary species available in that area.
It is not sure how much of this is exported, as noted; there is some evidence of domestic
consumption, with products of the four companies seen in most large supermarkets, but
it is probably limited. There are currently no separate export statistics for canned tuna,
but it is assumed in this report to be around 10,000t.
3.4 Dried/smoked tuna
At least one processor in Khanh Hoa Province is producing traditional smoked (soft
smoked) and smoke dried (hard smoked pre-arabushi) skipjack, using gillnet-caught fish.
Actual production is not known but an annual processing capacity of 2,000t is claimed.
Other plants in the Province may also be processing similar product for export.
20
3.5 Domestic consumption
Domestic seafood consumption is reported by VASEP as 1,434,000t in 2002, with
Vietnamese getting 50% of their dietary protein from aquatic products. If consumption
has continued to increase on a pro-rata basis, 2004 consumption levels may have been
of the order of 1,800,000t. Per capita consumption of fishery products is estimated as
around 13kg, but other estimates are considerably higher eg Lem and Nhan (2003) 35.6
kg of fish alone.
Levels of domestic consumption of tuna are not known with any certainty, but Dang and
Ruckes (2003), in their study of fisheries marketing in Vietnam (12 provinces surveyed,
including Khanh Hoa and Da Nang), provide some indications that it is probably
considerable. Tuna accounted for 1.5 % of total institutional fish products consumption
per month, but only 0.4 % of expenditure (prices of tuna were generally low, at less than
VD 10,000 per kg (~ USD 0.60). Tuna was a preferred species for 3.25% of consumers,
and accounted for 2.6 % of overall consumption per month, and 1.4 % of overall
expenses on fish products. Lem and Nhan (2003) note that tuna is rarely consumed in
the North, but recorded quite high consumption in the Central and South areas.
This share of domestic consumption of tunas (estimated 2.6%) may thus translate to
around 47,000t of the total consumption. It is assumed that much of this “tuna” would be
neritic species not always suitable for processing and export eg Auxis spp, Euthynnus
affinis, as well as oriental bonito and some Thunnus tonggol. Assuming that 30% of the
total tuna consumed might be oceanic species, domestic consumption of these species,
for the purposes of estimating total catch, is rated at 15,000t, but may well be more.
3.6 Other processing
It would be remiss not to mention nuoc mam, the universal fish sauce of Vietnam,
produced from fish steeped and fermented in salt, and consumed in very large quantities
(many litres per capita per year). Some tuna is presumably used in the production of
nuoc mam. With recent attempts to register high quality nuoc mam from certain
traditional areas, a recent whimsical article (Hu’u, 2004) invites comparison of nuoc mam
with cognac as a high quality regional product to be treasured.
3.7 Best estimates of fish consumption – oceanic tunas
Taking the available information on tuna processing, it is useful to estimate the total
consumption of oceanic tunas, to compare with the previously estimated production of
oceanic tunas. This estimate does not include the figure of 20 - 25% loss/waste of
fisheries products in Vietnam usually ascribed to spoilage.
Domestic consumption (excluding canned) as described above 15,000
Declared exports – 20,000 declared; add 25% for whole fish equivalent 25,000
Canned production – 4 X 2,500 minimum (assume all oceanic spp.) 10,000
Exports (frozen, dried/smoked) unclassified and/or not included 5,000
45,000 mt
21
Although comparable with the previous estimate for tuna production, this estimate is
however considered rubbery, given the great uncertainty associated with most
components of the estimate. It is suspected, for example, that tuna exports when
converted to whole fish equivalents and including all semi-processed tuna products, may
well be more than the figure of 30,000 mt used here. The estimate of cannery production
is similarly uncertain, as is the percentage which is actually exported, and the domestic
consumption is highly uncertain.
5. THE INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT OF VIETNAM’S TUNA FISHERY
SR Vietnam currently has no fishing agreements with any other state – indeed foreign
fishing vessels are not allowed to fish in its EEZ. Large scale illegal fishing is reported,
with an estimated 100,000t taken by foreign vessels each year (Globefish, 2004).
As noted, the LOSC was ratified by Vietnam in 1994. Vietnam has accepted the FAO
Code of Conduct, and has contributed to, but not signed or ratified the UNFSA and the
FAO Compliance Agreement. In 2001, it signed an agreement to protect the marine
environment from the effects of climate change, coastal development, pollution and
overfishing as one of the seven countries bordering the South China Sea and the Gulf of
Thailand, with a GEF-funded programme of action.
Trade issues have vexed Vietnam in recent years, with anti-dumping wrangles and other
issues involving catfish and shrimp. It is seeking to become a WTO member in 2005.
Vietnam is an active participant in FAO, SEAFDEC and APFIC activities.
Most importantly, it lies within the WCPFC area of competence, is a significant harvester
of HMFS within that area, and should be encouraged to participate in appropriate
WCPFC activities at the earliest opportunity.
22
6. SUMMARY CONCLUSIONS
There is currently an almost complete absence of any official statistics on the tuna
fishery of Vietnam, and realistically it may be some time before reliable data, broken
down by species, gear and area become available. There are several initiatives
underway which attempt to address this problem, and there is some optimism that the
impetus offered by the recent entry into force of the new Fisheries Law may improve the
situation.
The tuna capture fishery, which has mostly developed since the mid-1990s primarily in
the Central-South Provinces, remains a fishery in transition, with mix of many older small
vessels, operating alongside fewer larger more modern vessels, assisted with
Government support and incentives. The fishery continues to grow, although not as
rapidly as original projections would have suggested. Estimates from this study suggest
that the annual catch of oceanic tuna species may be of the order of 40,000 mt,
somewhat higher than previous provisional estimates. This seems to compare well with
some preliminary estimates of tuna consumption/disposal in Vietnam, based on limited
information. Skipjack and yellowfin would be the dominant species in this catch. Previous
apparently conflicting information on the percentage of yellowfin and bigeye in the
longline catch would seem to relate to the differing small vessel/large vessel catch
composition. Based on limited information, the purse seine fishery would seem to be
dominated by skipjack, as would the gillnet fishery. With the exception of the mobile
large vessel longline fishery, most of the coastal tuna fisheries would seem quite
seasonal, with longline fisheries operating mostly in the September-March period, and
surface fisheries from March to October.
The tuna processing sector is complex, relatively sophisticated and has developed
rapidly, aiming directly at a variety of higher-priced export markets. Current export data
may underestimate production levels from this sector, and more work is needed to
accurately document its output.
There is little doubt, given the current level of production and likely further increases in
the tuna catch, that the participation of Vietnam in international management
arrangements in the WCPO should be strongly encouraged, and increased efforts made
to obtain more detailed information on the tuna fishery.
23
ANNEXES
ANNEX 1. Pelagic fish species observed, with Vietnamese names
Note: Diacritical (tone) marks not shown on Vietnamese names ; oceanic tunas and
associated species asterisked.
Species English Vietnamese
*Thunnus albacares Yellowfin tuna Ngu vay vang, ngu dai
duong
*Thunnus obesus Bigeye tuna Ngu mat to
*Thunnus alalunga Albacore tuna
Thunnus tonggol Longtail tuna Ngu bo
*Katsuwonus pelamis Skipjack tuna Ngu van, ngu soc dua
Euthynnus affinis Eastern little tuna Ngu cham
Auxis thazard Frigate tuna Ngu chu
Auxis rochei Bullet tuna Ngu o
Sarda orientalis Oriental bonito Ngu soc dua
*Acanthocybium solandri Wahoo Thu ngang
Scomberomorus
commerson
Narrow-banded spanish
mackerel
Thu vach, thu nguyen con
S. gutttatus Spotted mackerel Thu cham
Scomber japonicus Japanese mackerel
Rastrelliger kanagurta Indian mackerel Bac ma
R. brachysoma Indo Pacific mackerel Ba thu
*Xiphius gladius Swordfish Mui kiem
*Makaira indica Black marlin Co an do
*M. mazara Blue marlin Co xanh
*Istiophorus platypterus Sailfish Kiem co, ca co
*Coryphaena hippurus Mahi mahi Nguc heo, nuc heo co, ca
dua
*Lampris guttatus Opah
*Lepidocybium
flavobrunneum
Escolar, butterfish Thay boi
*Elegatis bipinnulatus Rainbow runner Cam thoi
*Canthidermis maculatus Ocean triggerfish
*Decapterus maccarellus Round scad Nuc huon, nuc so
*Carcarhinus spp. Oceanic whaler sharks Map
*Alopias vulpinus Thresher shark Nham duoi dai
24
ANNEX 2. Provisional list of major and minor tuna processors (excluding canners) in Vietnam, with
information on product source, volume and value
Major Processors
Location Contact Source of tuna Products Volume (value)
PROCIMEX Danang http://www.procimex.com.vn Local vessels
(gillent, longline ?
Skipjack cuts, mahi,
wahoo
> 5 (2002) for all products
 
ANNEX 3
ITINERARY OF THE STUDY
Tuesday March 15th Manila - Ho Chi Minh City – Hanoi
Wednesday 16th Visit FICen (Hanoi) and RIMF (Haiphong)
Thursday 17th FSPS (STOFA and ALMRV) and VASEP (Hanoi)
Friday 18th FiCen, FSPS and VASEP (Hanoi)
Saturday 19th Compiling report
Sunday 20th Writing, prepare presentation
Monday 21st Meeting with Vice Minister; depart Hanoi for Danang with Mr. Tri
(air/overnight, then train to Dieu Tri/Qui Nhon)
Tuesday 22nd DOFI office, Qui Nhon port (main purse seine port), processor
Wednesday 23rd Port visit early AM; Tri return to Hanoi (air); ADL to Nha Trang
(train)
Thursday 24th Nha Trang – visits to markets, port, and processors
Friday 25th Phu Yen (Tuy Hoa port) by road; overnight train Ho Chi Minh
City
Saturday 26th Vung Tau (port and processor visit)
Sunday 27th Write-up
Monday 28th VASEP office; Ho Chi Minh City fishing company and processor
visits
Tuesday 29th Observe unloading/packing tuna for export early AM; Depart
HCMC for Manila
(13 full days in country, 2 days travel)
27
ANNEX 4
PERSONS CONTACTED DURING THE STUDY (note: last name is that addressed)
HANOI
MOFI
Luong Le Phuong Vice Minister, MOFI
Pham Trong Yen* Deputy Director, International Cooperation Dept, MOFI
Dr. Thai Thanh Duong* Director, Fisheries Informatics Center (FiCen), MOFI
Ks. Duong Long Tri* Vice Director, FiCen, MOFI
Ms. Do Phuong Hanh* International Cooperation Officer, VASEP
Ms. Nguyen Thai Phuong* Manager, Information Chamber, VASEP
Dr. Ngo Anh Tuan Director, Finance and Planning Dept
Ms. Tran Thi Mieng Deputy Director, Finance and Planning Dept
Mr. Son* Officer, Finance and Planning Dept
Mr Hung Officer, Finance and Planning Dept
FSPS
Lars Joker* Chief Technical Adviser, STOFA, FSPS
Karl-Johan Staehr* Chief Technical Adviser, ALMRV, FSPS
RIMF (Haiphong)
Dr. Dao Manh Son* Vice Director, Conservation, Environment and Fishing, RIMF
Dr. Chu Tien Vinh* Vice Director, RIMF
Dr. U’u Hanoi University (head of fisheries oceanography project;
attended SCTB 16)
INDUSTRY/STATE CORPORATIONS
Pham Ngoc Hoe Adviser to Management Board, ESFICO, MOFI
FAO
Ms. Irmen Mantingh
BINH DINH PROVINCE
DOFI
Mr. Dinh Van Tien Vice Director, Fisheries Service of Binh Dinh Province
Mr. Tha Deputy Head, Technical Division, DOFI
Mr. Binh Officer, Technical Division, DOFI
Mr Hung Director, Qui Nhon Fishing Port
INDUSTRY
Ms. Cao Thi Kim Lan Director, Binh Dinh Fishery Joint Stock Company (BIDIFISCO)
KHANH HOA PROVINCE
DOFI (no contact)
INDUSTRY
Tran Tuan Phong* Im-ex Trading Dept, Nha Trang Seafoods
PHU YEN PROVINCE
DOFI staff – no cards
28
BA RIA VUNG TAU PROVINCE
INDUSTRY
Nguyen Ky Khoi* Vice Director, Ba Ria - VungTau Seafood Processing Import -
Export Joint Stock Company
HO CHI MINH CITY
VASEP
Trung Din Hoe* Vice Secretary General, VASEP
INDUSTRY
Ms. Nguyen Thi Tu Uyen* Air Freight Manager, HOANG HA Commercial Co.
(Catherine)
Ms. Pham Thi Mong Thuy* Sales and Marketing, SEASPIMEX
Tran Van Nhan (Francis)* Director, Viet My International Co. Ltd (VIMYCO)
Nguyen Dang Duy Hai* Asst. to DG, East Sea Fisheries Corporation (ESFICO)
USEFUL WEBSITES
Ministry of Fisheries of Vietnam: www.mofi.gov.vn
Fishery Information Centre: www.fistenet.gov.vn
VASEP: www.vasep.com.vn
Vietnam Economic Times: www.vneconomy.com.vn
Vietnam Investment Review: www.vir.com.vn
World Bank (Vietnam Country Office): www.worldbank.org.vn
Asian Development Bank: www.adb.org
Governments on the WWW (links to a range of Vietnam government Web sites.):
www.gksoft.com/govt/en/vn.html
Seafood Industry Contacts Vietnam: www.sea-ex.com/countryinfo/Vietnam.htm
PROCESSING COMPANY WEBSITES – see ANNEX 1
29
ANNEX 5 REFERENCES / SOURCE DOCUMENTS
Anon. (2004) Current status of offshore fishing and its management in Viet Nam. Monthly Fisheries
Information Bulletin, 9/2004, p. 10-13.
Binh Dinh Fisheries: Potential and Investment prospects (33p.) Binh Dinh DOFI brochure.
Chu, C.C et al. (1999) A coastal air-ocean coupled system (CAOCS) evaluated using an airborne
expendable bathythermograph (AXBT) data set. J.Oceanography 55: 543-558
Dang, N. V. and E. Ruckes (2003) Fisheries Marketing in Vietnam: Current situation and perspectives for
development. In Fisheries Marketing and Credit in Vietnam, FAO Fisheries Technical Paper 468: 29-92
DOFI (2005) Phu Yen fisheries: actuality and orientation development (2p.). English notes prepared by
DOFI, Tuy Hoa, Phu Yen.
Dung, Nguyen Huu (ed.) (2002) Seafood from Vietnam, 2002-2003. Ministry of Culture and Information, SR
of Vietnam
FAO (1999) Fishery country Profile – Socialist Republic of Vietnam. FID/CP/VIE
FAO (2002) General Status of the System of Food and Agriculture Statistics in Vietnam. GCP/RAS/171/JPN,
Field Doc. 2/VNM/1
FAO (2003) Training on Statistical Information Management. Project document TCP/VIE/2907 (T). 22p.
FAO (2004) Report of the National Conference on Responsible Fisheries In Viet Nam, 29-30 September
2003. FAO Fish Code Review No. 9, Rome FAO 2004. 94p.
Fisheries Management Dept, MOFI (2000) Longlining in the Central Region of Vietnam (FICen English
abstract)
Globefish (2004) Fishery Industry Profile – Vietnam. FAO Globefish, Rome. Volume 75, 57 p.
Hersoug, B. et al. (2002) Report from Fishery Education Mission to Vietnam, 15/6-29/6/2002. NORAD, 42 p.
Klinkhart, M. (2004) Vietnam's seafood industry - totally geared to exports: Eurofish Magazine Issue 01/2004
Kume, S. (1973) Tuna resources in the South China Sea. SCS/DEV/74/4/Rome. FAO/UNDP Rome,
December 1973, 18 p.
Le, Ha (2001) Some ameliorations in oceanic tuna fishery of Phu Yen. Fisheries Review 3/2001(FiCen
English abstract)
Lem, A. and Nhan, N. (2003) Module on Economic Modelling and Fish Consumption. In
Fisheries Marketing and Credit in Vietnam, FAO Fisheries Technical Paper 468: 123-134
Long, Nguyen (2002) Responsible management for marine fisheries in Vietnam. RIMF, Haiphong.
SEAFDEC (2002 ?) Fishing gear and Methods in Southeast Asia : IV Vietnam.
SEAFDEC (2004) Fishery Statistical Bulletin for the South China Sea area, 2001
SEAFDEC (2003 ?) Proceedings of the First Technical Seminar on Marine Fishery Resources in the South
China Sea. Area IV : Vietnam
Son, Dao Manh (2004) Offshore Fisheries Status and Management. In Report of the National Conference on
Responsible Fisheries In Viet Nam, FAO/Fish Code Review No. 9, 2004. pp 33 – 49.
Sy, Nguyen Doc (2003) Remarks on the use of light source on offshore seiners in Kien Giang and Ca Mau
sea waters. Science Technology of Fisheries Review, Univ. of Fisheries. 3/2003. (FICen English abstract)
30
Tri, Duong Long (2002) National Fisheries Report – Vietnam. 15th SCTB, Honolulu, Hawaii, July 2002.
Tuan, Lam Quoc (2003) Trade in Fisheries and Human Development. Country Case Study – Vietnam. Asia
Pacific Regional Initiative on Trade, Economic Governance and Human Development, UNDP, June 2003.
50 p
Tung, Nguyen (2005) Fishing for Tuna. Vietfish International (3) Jan/Feb 2005; 52-55
U’u, Nguyen Thien (2004) Phu Quoc fish sauce: on a par with France’s cognac. Vietfish
International (2) Sept/Oct 2004, 57-58
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The author is grateful for the critical initial assistance to the study provided by Dr.Thai Thanh
Duong (Director, FICeN), and to Mr. Doung Long Tri (Vice Director,FiCen), who kindly
accompanied me on travel to Binh Dinh Province, Lars Joker and Karl-Johan Staehr of STOFA
and ALMVR (FSPS) respectively for introductions, assistance and valuable insights, Vice
Minister Luong Le Phong and Pham Trong Yen (Deputy Director, MOFI) for their ongoing support
for the work, Dr. Dao Manh Son for information on RIMF activities and tuna research, VASEP
staff (Vice SG Trung Din Hoe, Ms. Phuong and Ms. Hanh) for information on exports and
commercial companies involved in tuna processing and export, Mr. Pham Ngoc Hoe (ESFICO)
for useful discussion on the development and history of the fishery sector and longlining
operations in Vietnam, various staff at DOFI offices in Phu Yen and Binh Dinh provinces for
generous provision of information on fishing operations in their area, Mr. Tran Van Nanh
(Vimyco) for the opportunity to observe tuna packing for export and providing insights into
longlining operations for export, and managers of various tuna processing plants in Binh Dinh,
Khanh Hoa, Ba Ria Vung Tau and Ho Cho Minh City for allowing access to their plants and
providing a range of useful information for the study.