Established since 1998, Vietnam Fisheries International Exhibition (Vietfish) is annually held in mid-June in Ho Chi Minh City, organized by Vietnam Association of Seafood Processors and Exporters (VASEP). This is one of the imposing exhibitions in the year due to its importance.
Fisheries sector is one of the light industries, playing an important role in Vietnam’s export activities, contributing to the national incomes through utilizing the fisheries resources for processing and exports, creating various jobs for many labors throughout the country.
Vietnam fisheries industry has been continuously growing, even in the hard times such as the influences of regional financial crisis in 1997-1998; the global economic downturn in 2008-2009, with the impressive grow steps: achieving an export revenue of USD 550 million in 1995, and of 4.3 billion in 2009.
Much water has flowed under the bridge, unless the people directly involved in the sector, there are not many others who can sympathize with the hardship, dignity of the farmers, fishermen, and especially the processing workers that have been silently contributing to the prosperity of the sector. They stand for several hours a day to work hard in the wet, cold and strict sanitary conditioned environment to make each penny for the country’s income. Even though Vietfish is a good opportunity for the sector to show off its performance to all customers around the world beside conducting the deals for new businesses, it’s still lacking of proper sincerities to respect the workers of the sector who are greatly contributing to the sector growth. Moreover, it’s bitter when imagining the importers of luxury goods easily spend tens or hundreds of thousands of USD without a thought of how hard that money was earned by those workers.
Besides the efforts to care of workers living conditions which are the large issues to many enterprises, a sort of “ulcer” is now harming the performance of the shrimp processing and export sector. That’s the “epidemic” of injection of foreign substances to shrimp bodies to gain weight illegally. Several Japanese importers have warned to ban the imports of frozen shrimp products from Vietnam if these incidents could not be eradicated. The selfish benefits for ill-bred middlemen have caused the whole sector become their victims. That’s a crime and must be eradicated definitely. The contributions of many workers are rejected because of these “spoiling worms”.
Vietfish is an opportunity to celebrate for Vietnam’s Fisheries sector’s contribution to the national economy. However, its’ also a good chance for all of us, everyone no matter involved indirectly or directly or even not involved in the sector business, to take certain action deserving the sector growth.
Pham Hoang Kinh