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Agro ministry seeks support for fishermen hit by fuel price rise

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – As around half of 90,000 fishing boats nationwide are stranded ashore due to spiraling fuel costs, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is seeking support for fishermen whose incomes and daily lives have been impacted by the fuel price spike.

In a dispatch sent to the ministries of Industry-Trade, Labor-Invalids-Social Affairs yesterday, June 24, the agriculture ministry proposed they seek the prime minister’s approval to offer support to the affected fishermen for six months, reported the local media.

According to the agriculture ministry, the fishing industry has made an important contribution to the country’s agriculture development. Vietnam’s fishing output last year totaled 3.92 million tons and the seafood export turnover exceeded US$3.4 billion.

Besides, the fishing industry has offered employment to over 600,000 fishermen directly involved in fishing activities and almost four million employees offering coastal fisheries services. Further, the operations of fishing vessels at sea have contributed to protecting the nation’s sovereignty over seas and islands.

However, since the end of last year to date, domestic fuel prices have been rising and are expected to soar further in the coming time that could adversely affect business, production and the daily activities of the local people, including the fishing community.

The fuel consumption to serve fishing operations is estimated at some 330 million liters per month, with the price of diesel oil 0.05S, the main fuel for fishing vessels, surging as much as 65%, or VND11,441 per liter, since December last year to date.

Fuel costs usually account for 45-60% of the input costs of fishing ships.

The fuel price spike has also led to a 10-15% increase in the prices of other commodities to serve fishing operations, resulting in the total input costs soaring by 35-48%. Meanwhile, seafood prices have went up insignificantly.

These obstacles have forced many fishing boats to suspend operations as revenues could not offset the higher input costs.

Up to now, some 55% of the fishing vessels have been sitting idle, especially those consuming a large volume of fuel, the ministry said.

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