Vietnam’s seafood exports in 2023 – mostly aquaculture related – have hit US $9.2bn (£7.2bn), just short of the $10bn (£7.8bn) goal that had been set at the start of the year.
The Vietnamese Fisheries Directorate said the main export species were shrimp at US $3.45bn (£2.7bn) and pangasius at $1.9bn (£1.5bn), both heavily farmed. These two species were followed by molluscs and tuna.
The Directorate says the main reason why it fell just short of its target was the combined impact of the near two-year Russia-Ukraine conflict and more recently, trouble in the Middle East, especially the Israel-Gaza conflict. Both have had a dampening effect on the global economy.
Inflation is also having an impact as the cost of some goods and input materials involved in aquaculture development are still high.
The government thinks that high logistical costs are putting pressure on production activities particularly when consumer demand slows down.
Vietnam is still having problems with exports to Europe, with the European Commission continuing to maintain a “yellow card” traceability warning for certain seafoods, which means that exports are failing to achieve set targets.
Nguyen Van Trung, head of the Department of Fishing Vessel Management and Fishery Logistics Services, said it is now more necessary to complete the Electronic Logbook (“E-logbook”) software in order to deliver traceability for seafood. The E-logbook is an app for fishers and seafood producers, which is currently being trialled.
He also wants to see a strengthening of inspection around the supervision and implementation of local management regulations.
Nguyen Van Trung highlighted data digitisation as an important basis for fisheries management, administration, and transparency.
Tran Dinh Luan, director general of Directorate of Fisheries, pointed out the difficulties Vietnam’s seafood industry will continue to face this year with amid seafood resources declining and the EU continuing to maintain the “yellow card” warning in some areas.

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