Modern steel fishing boats left abandoned due to costly operation

Last update: 14:48 | 02/04/2019

Several modern steel shell fishing vessels are being abandoned in the central province of Ha Tinh as their owners complained that they were incurring losses using them.


An abandoned steel vessel in Ha Tinh Province

The boats were built following Government Decree 67 which offers preferential loans for local fishermen to build modern, larger vessels for offshore fishing.

This is the peak fishing season but two steel boats which are the biggest and most modern in Loc Ha District have been left idle in Cua Sot Wharf for many months.

The owner of one of the boats, Nguyen Van Long shared that his boat was built at the cost of over VND13 billion (USD565,217) in 2017.

A boat that is deteriorating after being abandoned for more than a year

"Despite the huge investment and expectations, we only used it a few times in 2017 and then abandoned it the whole year last year until now," Long said, adding that the main reason was that it cost too much to operate.

"We used to spend some VND70 million (USD3,043) every trawling expedition but earned roughly VND30-50 million from the fish," he said. "We had changed between several fishing methods but they didn't bring better. So we had to stop."

The second boat left idle in the area is owned by Tran Xuan Sinh who invested nearly VND16 billion to build in 2017.

Fisherman Tran Xuan Sinh besides his boat

"It was used just a few times and then it has been left here for over a year," Sinh said. "I’m very sad seeing it deteriorate with time, but we can’t afford to use it."

The fisherman explained that low fish stocks and high labour prices made it difficult for them to be profitable with large and modern vessels.

"In fact we accumulated losses," he said. "I borrowed VND14.9 billion from the bank to build the boat and now I'm having to pay VND150 million (USD6,521) each month in interest."

Chairman of Thach Kim Commune People's Committee, Ha Minh Tan, also admitted that the biggest difficult for operating these modern steel vessels involved sourcing capital and labour. 

"In our area many people have gone to work abroad so we are facing a labour shortage here," Tan said. "Labour has become more costly which is discouraging owners of large fishing vessels."

Nguoi Lao Dong/Dtinews

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