Nhan Dan Online – Five sets of Japanese tuna fishing equipment worth VND1.5 billion (US$70,500) were handed over on June 10 to fishermen from Tam Quan Bac commune in the central province of Binh Dinh. The equipment was financed by the Binh Dinh People’s Committee, the Japan-Vietnam Friendship Association in Sakai, and the Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Company (SBIC). Binh Dinh People’s Committee Chairman Le Huu Loc said the transfer of the fishing gear was undertaken as a trial; one which would be replicated if it proved effective in tuna fishing. He added that the Binh Dinh Fishery JSC had promised to buy tuna caught with Japanese technology at a price 20% higher than the normal rate. According to Japanese experts, the fishing gear can help local fishermen increase their productivity and the quality of tuna they catch, which can be sold at significantly higher prices than tuna caught using traditional methods. Japan consumes around 600,000 tonnes of tuna each year, half of which is imported from other countries that are also using fishing equipment provided by Japan. The same day, the Nha Trang Shipyard, an SBIC affiliate, signed an agreement to build two steel-hulled ships for Tam Quang Bac fishermen, the first such ships in Binh Dinh province.