Boat project fails to reel in fishermen

Fishermen in central Quang Ngai Province are not switching to fishing vessels made from iron – even though metal ships would be safer and more efficient than traditional wooden ones – because they don’t have enough money to do so.

The province’s project to build 22 high-capacity vessels from iron was approved by the Prime Minister last July.

However, it has yet to be implemented, as not many fishermen can afford the VND5-7 billion (US$238,000-333,000) that each vessel costs to produce, according to director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Duong Van To.

Besides, many fishermen have not been trained in the use of modern boat equipment, so they are reluctant to take the risk.

While 20 fishermen initially registered to join the project, that number has now fallen to five.

Fisherman Nguyen Huu Ngot from Binh Son District’s Binh Chanh Commune told Nguoi Lao Dong (The Labourer) newspaper that local fishermen were very happy to hear about the project, as they had dreamed for a long time of steering iron vessels.

However, many fishermen ultimately decided to turn their back on the project due to the high investment required.

“I myself would not build such a ship. It’s just too expensive,” Ngot said.

Even though fishermen can access preferential loans, they still have to pay a deposit of 30 per cent of the ship value.

To said more preferential policies were needed to encourage fishermen to participate in the project