Half of Vietnam’s fishing fleet sitting idle due to fuel price surge

A harbor full of docked fishing boats in Vietnam.

As many as half of Vietnam’s fishing boats are stranded ashore due to rising fuel costs, according to the country’s ministry of agriculture and rural development.

In a 24 June letter, the agriculture ministry called on country’s other government ministries to jointly seek support from the central government for affected fishermen.

The country has more than 91,000 fishing vessels, including more than 42,000 boats operating nearshore and over 30,000 operating in offshore areas. More than 600,000 fishermen across the country are directly involved in fishing activities, with nearly four million people engaged in coastal fisheries services. However, currently between 40 percent and 55 percent of the total fishing boats are unable to venture out to sea because of the spiraling fuel costs.

The price of diesel, the main fuel used by the country’s fishing sector, soared 65 percent from VND 17,579 (USD 0.76, EUR 0.72) per liter on 25 December, 2021, to VND 29,020 (USD 1.25, EUR 1.18) per liter on 20 June, 2022. It means that fishing vessels in the country are paying an additional VND 3.78 trillion (USD 162.5 million, EUR 153.7 million) per month due to the fuel price spike.

Fuel demand of fishing vessels in Vietnam is estimated at 330 million liters per month, it said, and fuel accounts for between 45 percent and 60 percent of input operation costs for the average fishing vessel, according to the ministry. As a result, many fishing vessels have been forced to suspend operations as their revenue has failed to offset the rising input costs.

The fuel price hike has also led to the increase in prices of other commodities and services for fishing activities, the ministry said.

To help the sector overcome its ministry, the agriculture ministry is calling on the central government to provide local fishermen between VND 3 million and VND 4.4 million (USD 129 and USD 189.5, EUR 122 and EUR 179) per fisherman over the next six months.

Photo courtesy of Zac Crush/Shutterstock


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