Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

Viet Nam Shark Fisheries
Fishery  Fact Sheet
Status and trends of sharks fisheries in SouthEast Asia 2004
Viet Nam Shark Fisheries
Fact Sheet Citation  
Outcomes from the Study on Shark Fisheries in Southeast Asia: Viet Nam
Owned bySoutheast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) – more>>

Location of Viet Nam Shark Fisheries

Geographic reference:  Viet Nam
Spatial Scale: National
Reference year: 2004
Approach: Fishery Resource

Harvested Resource
Fishery Area: Viet Nam

Captured Species: Pelagic thresher; Requiem sharks nei; Silvertip shark …  

Fishery Indicators

Harvested Resource
Type of production system: Commercial; Artisanal; Semi-industrial   

Fishery Area
Climatic zone: Tropical.  

Geo References
Two sites, namely Phan Thiet (Binh Thuan province) and Vung Tau (Ba Ria - Vung Tau province) were selected, were selected for data collection on shark fisheries in Vietnam.

Phan Thiet located in Binh Thuan province, Phan Thiet is 200 km from Ho Chi Minh and lies south of Cam Ranh bay on the southernmost stretch of Central Vietnam. Phan Thiet is one of a famous place for shark catching as target species by longline. There are 2 main landing sites Phu Quy island and Con Tra for the region. Although Phu Quy seems to have higher volume of landing but Con Tra is easier to access and most of products are processing there. The catch in this area is representative for "deep" sea ecosystem.

Vung Tau is an old port located on a 110 km2 area, 125 km southeast of Ho Chi Minh city. This city has some shark products possessing. Shark landing in this areas was catching from long line, gillnet and bottom trawl. There are many landing sites in this city. However, Ben Da is a site where shark product mainly landing to compare with others. On the other hand, the site is representative for southern ecosystem and easier to access. Vung Tau is also a famous on trading of shark fin and other products..
Captured Species
Sharks are caught in fisheries targeting pelagic and demersal marine species.
Vessel Type
Flag State
Viet Nam
Fishing Gear
a) The fishing gears specialized for shark catching: the main fishing gear for catching shark is long line. Shark fishery was developed strongly in Vietnam from the end of 80's to 90's. Shark fishery is being developed in the central provinces, particularly in Phu Quy island (Binh Thuan province). Fishing boat used popularly has hull length of 14-17m with engine of 45-60 hp. Season for shark catching lasts from January to September. The highest catch of shark can be reached from March to June. Due to small size, fishing boats can operate offshore from March to June, which is the period of calm sea and also of the highest catch. Length of long line often used ranges from 15 km to 30 km with 300 to 600 hooks respectively. Small pelagic fishes or 200gr of tuna or dolphin fish per hook is used as bait. Catching of sharks by hook and line reaches high volume. Rate of sharks to the total fishery products is very high, which accounts for 45-100%. In every fishing trip, catch of sharks reaches 400 - 4,000 kg per boat.

b) Fishing gears can be used for shark catching (shark is not target catching object): Some fishing gears can be used for catching sharks. The most considerable gears are trawling net and gillnet. During their operation, these gears can catch sharks and rays. Although volume of shark in one catch is not high (only about 0.7 - 1%), number of fishing boats and total fishery products by these 2 fishing gears is extremely high. Therefore, total catch of sharks and rays is remarkable.

Hooks and lines

Gillnets and entangling nets

Environmental limitations to fishing: monsoon.
Long line is considered as the main fishing gears for catching shark in Vietnam. Sharks catch constituted for approximately 21.5% of the total catch from long line fisheries. For other fishing gears, catch of sharks by trawl makes up approximately 0.72% of the total catch, while catch of sharks from gill net makes up approximately 1% of the total catch.
Post Harvest
Fish Utilisation
In Vietnam, sharks are processed and traded as follows:

- Fresh shark: the caught sharks are kept fresh and in whole in the trawlers and gill net boats until landing. As for the shark of more than 6-7 kg, its fin will be cut, but the shark of less than 6 kg will be sold in whole unit with fin.
- Dried shark: dried shark can be seen in the long line boats. They usually go fishing offshore, so the caught sharks are dried up: dried fish meat, dried skin and dried bone.
- Stomach of shark: stomachs of sharks are used as food
- Liver of shark: livers of sharks are cut into small parts then processed into oil and contained in plastic cans.
- Fin of shark: fins of sharks are preferable product for export
Shark products are traded in different markets:

- Fresh shark meat is sold in domestic market
- Dried shark meat is sold in market of Ho Chi Mink city, which can be processed into pieces soaked in spices.
- Skin, bone and liver of shark: are exported to China. According to survey data, there are 3 big magnates, who specializes in buying sharks. Volume of shark skin bought by one magnate in 2003 was 14 tons. Only in the first quarter of January 2004 one magnate bought 5 tons of skin and 50 kg of bone.
- In Phu Quy island (Binh Thuan province), in the first 6 months of 2003, 137 tons of shark meat and 3.9 tons of fin are reached.
- Price of shark products: according to the surveys in markets of 2 provinces, prices of shark products are shown in Table 10.
Management unit: No

Jurisdictional framework
Management Body/Authority(ies): Department of Fisheries, Vietnam
Mandate: Management.  
Area of Competence: Viet Nam
Maritime Area: Exclusive Economic Zone Areas (EEZ).  
Management Methods

Management measures

Fish species-related measures
In line with the International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Shark (IPOA Shark), National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Shark (NPOA Shark) is now under establishing process.

Status and Trends
As for gillnet fisheries, shark catch is in tendency to be decreased gradually in period of 2000 - 2003. The highest catch was reached in 2001 (about 0.41 kg/km) and the lowest catch - in 2002 (about 0.18 kg/km).

Catch presents obvious seasonality. In general, catch in the northeast monsoon is higher than in the southwest monsoon. Typically, in the northeast monsoon of 2001 catch reached to 0.6 kg/km. On the contrary, the lowest catch was encountered in the southwest monsoon of 2003, about 0.18 kg/km. Particularly, in this monsoon catch decreased rather clearly in period from 2000 to 2003. And then the catch trends to be increased from 2003 to 2004.

Standing biomass estimation of sharks (Table 1) showed the declining tendency. Standing biomass of sharks in the Tonkin Gulf has been dramatically decreasing from 2001 to 2004. In the Southwest monsoon of 2002, standing biomass of sharks is estimated to be about 1068 tons and decreased in 2003, 2004 at level of 648 and 626 tons respectively.

In the Southeast area, standing biomass of sharks is estimated to be 2,473 - 5,629 tons in 2000-2004. The highest standing biomass of sharks is observed in the Southwest monsoon of 2003 and lowest in the Southwest monsoon of 2004. Standing biomass of sharks in different monsoon seasons in the Southeast area is shown in Table 2.

In the Southwest area, standing biomass of sharks by fishing season ranged from 518 tons in Southwest monsoon of 2000 and 1,534 tons in Northeast monsoon of 2002. Standing biomass of sharks in the same monsoon season (Southwest monsoon) of 2002-2004 was increased from 1,531 tons (2002) to 1,061 tons (2003) and 1,002 tons (2004) (Table 3).

In conclusion, standing biomass of sharks in the Southeast area was estimated highest comparing with other areas of Vietnam. The lowest standing biomass of sharks was found in the Tonkin Gulf.
Source of Information
Information on shark fisheries in Vietnam was collected under the one year study on shark fisheries in the ASEAN region, conducted by SEAFDEC in collaboration with eight Member Countries, namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. The study aims to develop standard method for information collection on shark fisheries, to be further undertaken by each Member Countries, to support sustainable management and utilization of sharks in the ASEAN region.
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