Fishermen face hardship due to unfavorable weather and high price of gasoline

A high increase in gasoline price along with the continuous monsoon weather has hindered many sea voyages of fishing boats in Quang Tri Province. Photo: Photo: CD.

Besides unfavorable weather conditions, Quang Tri fishermen are facing many difficulties due to a high increase in gasoline price and lack of labor for this year’s first sea voyages.

Quang Tri has a total of 360 offshore fishing boats and thousands of others fishing near the coast. Every year, after the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, most of the fishing vessels in the province usually have started their first sea voyages. However, up to now, in the context of a continuous increase in gasoline prices, along with the monsoon weather, many fishing boats have had to wait at the shore.

Fisherman Nguyen Vinh, owner of fishing boat QT 95609TS at Cua Viet estuary, Gio Viet Commune, Gio Linh District said: “Normally, his boat consumes about 500 liters of oil after a fishing night offshore. In the past, oil price stood at VND13,000 – 14,000/liter and the total cost was just about VND6-7 million. Now that the oil price has increased to VND20,000/liter so the fuel cost has also reached VND10 million for each voyage.”

“To avoid losses, our ships must catch more than 2 tons of sea products on each trip. However, the fact is that sea products are increasingly depleted and very hard to catch so I and my teammates are always worried about losses after each trip,” Vinh said.

Transporting ice to the boat to prepare for a new sea voyage. Photo: CD.

Meanwhile, fisherman Vo Ninh Binh, owner of fishing boat QT 98777TS 800 CV, said at the beginning of this year’s fishing season, the gasoline price got a nearly double increase while the seafood price was still at a low level. This causes impacts on fishermen’s works at sea. According to Mr. Binh, his fishing boat consumes more than 3,000 liters of oil on average for each trip of 8-10 days. Plus other costs for ice, food, etc., he must spend a total of about VND80 million for each trip.

“The catch is also showing signs of decline, averaging only 1 to 1.5 tons per trip. If the purchase price remains at the current low level, there is almost no profit,” said Binh.

Mr. Le Van Vien, Head of the Gio Linh District Agriculture and Rural Development Office said the district has a total of 939 fishing and fishing services vessels-the largest number in the province with a total capacity of 78,914 CV, of which 169 are offshore fishing boats. In the current situation of continuous increase in gasoline price, fishermen are facing difficulties due to the total high cost for each sea trip.

“Since the beginning of the year, despite many difficulties, the locality still encourages fishermen to go to sea. On the district side, it has issued many policies to support and encourage them to mobilize all sources and increase investment in building and upgrading, boats so that they can stay at sea without worries,” he said

Offshore fishing vessels anchor at Cua Viet fishing port due to high gasoline prices. Photo: DC.

“The weather in the past few days has not been favorable, so many large fishing vessels are still unable to go offshore. Along with that, a shortage of sea labor and the high price of gasoline have made fishermen hesitate to go to sea for fear of loss,” said Mr. Vien.

According to statistics of the Quang Tri Fisheries Sub-Department, the whole province currently has more than 360 offshore fishing vessels with a capacity from 90 CV to over 1,000 CV and over 1,600 others sailing near the coast. After the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, taking advantage of favorable weather, most of the fishing boats near the coast have started sailing while a few offshore boats departed for the first sea voyages.

Author: Cong Dien

Translated by Linh Nguyen