Danish Success in the Fisheries Sector

An in-depth fisheries sector economic study has been undertaken by the Central Institute for Economic Management, a leading national economic think tank in Vietnam, together with experts from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

The fisheries sector in Vietnam has been highly successful over the past 15 years in terms of growth and poverty reduction. The sector is of course dynamic and has advanced very rapidly with Danida’s assistance over the last decades. Growth has been impressive, with exports increasing in value by 10-20% annually in recent years.


However, according to the report written by experts from Central Institute for Economic Management and University of Copenhagen publicized in December 2010, the main finding is that the sector is faced with two serious problems: (i) over-fishing leading to the depletion of stocks and the potential demise of the fishing industry; (ii) aquaculture is associated with environmental risks and facing the increasing quality standards required by big markets.


Inshore fisheries are overfished, with declining yields despite increasing efforts in terms of boat numbers and engine power. While aquaculture has surpassed capture fisheries in terms of overall production volume and value, there are questions about how sustainable this increased production is and what impact it will have on the environment. Furthermore, the already witnessed and future impact of climate change on the fisheries sector is expected to exacerbate these challenges.


Such issues highlight the need for developing a strategic vision, as well as corresponding policies and public investment, for the sustainable development of the fisheries sector. An agreed strategic economic analysis of the fisheries sector between the Embassy of Denmark and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development was carried out throughout 2010.


The outcome of the analysis should assist the Government of Vietnam to decide appropriate policies on sustainable economic development as well as to improve the effectiveness of government economic policies and interventions in the fishery sector.


It is hoped that this study, to be presented to Vietnamese government policy makers, will provide a basis for informed choices in selecting and designing government interventions in the fisheries sector of Vietnam.

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