Making the best use of the potential and advantages of the marine economy
Vietnam is known as a coastal country with a coastline of 3,260 km and over 3,000 various sized islands and waters, continental shelves and exclusive economic zones which are triple larger than the land area. The marine resources of our country's waters are quite rich and diverse with more than 2,000 marine species, ensuring an annual exploitation reserve of nearly 2 million tons; in addition, the hydrological conditions and the system of rivers, canals, lagoons, ponds and lakes are very favorable for the development of aquaculture and fishing, creating the strengths and potentials in marine economic development of the country. Developing the marine economy and expanding the scope of economic activities on the seas and islands under the sovereignty and jurisdiction of our country are the most important task to both exploit the marine resources and affirm the sovereignty and enhance the ability to protect the integrity of the territory and territorial seas.
Being well aware of the strategic position of the sea and the important role of the Fisheries industry in the development of the marine economy and the protection of the country's sovereignty over seas and islands, over the years, the Fisheries industry has gradually surpassed through difficulties and challenges, persistently striving, developing from a small production field, rising to become an important spearhead economic sector in the national economy, achieving the highest growth rate in the block of agriculture, forestry and fishery (in 2007, reached an increase of 11%), bringing a large source of foreign currency revenues for the country.
Dr. Nguyen Viet Thang - Chairman of the Vietnam Fisheries Association said that the fisheries industry in which fishing in the East Sea makes a significant contribution to the national economy. Each year, Vietnam's seafood exports have reached over $8.5 billion and the volume has been just the tip of the iceberg that the Fisheries industry has brought to the country. The fisheries economy, especially the fishing industry in the East Sea not only ensuring people's well-being and jobs but also assumes another important role of asserting sovereignty and contributing to the protection of sovereignty over our seas and islands.
The government needs to carefully study the central role of economic sectors in the marine economy. In the marine economy, marine energy has recently mentioned, but only about energy from the tides, other energy sources such as: waves, sea wind, sea sun, sea heat and ocean currents located under the sea bed of our country have not mentioned. These are issues to be noted in the marine economy.
For the fisheries, the Government has approved a strategy for development of the fisheries industry by 2030, including a fairly comprehensive development policy; however, it is also necessary to pay more attention to the issues that Vietnam's agriculture focuses on and the Government is very interested in the agriculture - farmers - rural areas in which people are the center; In the fisheries industry, especially in the sea fishing industry, more and more attention must be paid to the close relationship between fishermen - fisheries - fishing grounds. Fishermen – people are the center of development; fisheries – focus on science, technology, productivity and labor efficiency; fishing ground – is the vast space in the sea where fishermen can fish. We have one million square kilometers of exclusive economic zone, in which our fishing grounds cover. However, our fishing grounds can be larger than that of international waters, neighboring waters with which we can cooperate greatly. The government needs to have a policy to expand this fishing ground to bring into full play the talents and wisdom of fishermen, Dr. Thang added.
On the other hand, our country has over 3,260 km of coastline, dozens of provinces and cities with sea, localities with sea need to heavily invest in transport, electricity and water infrastructure. Currently, many coastal provinces lack fresh water, affecting the economic development in general and people's lives in particular. The sea is our great potential, therefore, in the marine economy as well as in the future, trying to invest to bring out the best potential and advantages of the marine economy will only get 63% of GDP from the sea, Dr. Thang said.
The fisheries is an important national economic sector operating throughout the seas and coastal areas of the country always with a close relationship with the protection of marine resources, sovereignty and integrity of Vietnam's water territory hence the development of the industry is always organically linked with the building of defense-security potential, consolidating the all-people defense and people's security in each sea area, coastal areas, islands and the whole country. Therefore, the leaders of the Ministries and Sectors attach great importance to and always pay attention to, and well combine the development of the marine economy with the enhancement of defense and security potentials, and the protection of the country's sovereignty over seas and islands. The combination of marine economic development with the enhancement of defense and security, protection of the country's sovereignty over seas and islands is clearly reflected in the sector's development plans, especially in investment and construction of fisheries infrastructure, development of fishing fleets and vessels and fisheries cooperatives. In scientific research on rivers, seas and islands and training and developing human resources; in building the defense posture in association with the people's security posture on the seas, islands and coastal areas. The combination of marine economy with defense and security is also reflected in inspection, supervision, enforcement of law and maintaining security and order at sea.