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The Fisheries Sector in Vietnam: Goals and Challenges for 2020

Vietnam’s fisheries sector has been an important contributor to the country’s economy, with a total output of 8.15 million tonnes in 2019, and an estimated export turnover of $8.6 billion. Despite the current challenges, the sector aims to continue its sustainable growth in 2020.

Certification for Aquaculture Products

The Director of the Directorate of Fisheries, Trần Đình Luân, stated that in 2020, the focus will be on granting certification to brackish shrimp farms (tiger shrimp and white-leg shrimp), tra fish farms, and aquaculture in cages. The industry will also develop key aquatic products, such as tiger shrimp, white-leg shrimp, and tra fish, along with other high-value aquatic products to increase trade value and sustainable development.

Targets for 2020

The Directorate of Fisheries under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has set targets to achieve a total fisheries output of approximately 8.2 million tonnes in 2020, which is a 0.6% increase year on year. The tra fish output is expected to remain the same at 1.42 million tonnes as in 2019, while the shrimp output is expected to increase by 3.7% to 850,000 tonnes.

The sector also aims to gross about US$10 billion from exporting aquatic products, a year-on-year increase of 6.3%. To achieve this goal, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phùng Đức Tiến stressed that the fisheries sector needs to address some of its shortcomings, such as improving fishing port infrastructure, processing facilities, and logistics services.

Challenges for the Industry

The industry faces a significant challenge in removing the European Commission (EC)’s “yellow card” warning against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Despite these challenges, the domestic fisheries sector has worked out measures to make use of export opportunities.

Market Developments and Shrimp Production

From early March to September, the prices of brackish shrimp declined due to competitive materials from India and Ecuador and the inventory output from 2018. China’s stricter control of quality and traceability at the border also contributed to the price decrease. However, the directorate has promptly evaluated market developments to orient production and promote supply chains to reduce risks for exported shrimp products.

As a result, the breeding area for brackish shrimp in 2019 was estimated at 720,000 hectares, with an output of 750,000 tonnes. The sector will continue to evaluate market developments to ensure its shrimp production remains competitive.

Tra Fish Products

The directorate has directed localities to carry out measures to maintain growth in tra fish production, and coordinated with relevant agencies to increase inspections on processing and export conditions. The total tra fish farming area in 2019 is estimated to reach 6,600 hectares, up 22.2% against the same period last year. The output is expected to reach 1.42 million tonnes, and the export turnover is hoped to stand at $1.9 billion.


The Vietnamese fisheries sector is optimistic about its growth prospects in 2020. While it faces some challenges in removing the EC’s “yellow card” warning against IUU fishing, the sector has taken measures to improve the quality and competitiveness of its products. With a focus on certifying aquaculture products, developing key aquatic products, and improving infrastructure, the sector aims to achieve its targets for 2020.


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