HCM CITY — Fishermen in central provinces enjoyed bumper catches of tuna after Tet (Lunar New Year) and earned handsome profits because of high prices for the fish.
|Fishermen offload tuna at a fishing port in Tuy Hoa City in the central province of Phu Yen. About 150 tuna fishing boats in Phu Yen have returned to shore laden with fish over the Tet holiday. — VNA/VNS Photo Xuan Truong
Nguyen Van Long, head of the Hoai Nhon District Fisheries and Resources Protection Station in the central province of Binh Dinh, said his district had 45 tuna fishing boats returning to shore with a total catch of 70 tonnes since the first day of Tet (January 23).
Each boat earned a profit of VND40-80 million (US$1,900-3,800), Long said.
This year, Hoai Nhon had more than 400 tuna fishing boats with a total of 5,000 fishermen celebrating Tet on the sea, he said.
All these boats would return after the tenth day of the Lunar New Year.
In previous years, most fishing boats began their Lunar New Year's first fishing trip on the fourth day of Tet, but this year they did it two weeks before Tet and returned to shore in the first days of Tet, Long said.
In the central province of Phu Yen, more than 150 tuna fishing boats have returned to shore with boats laden with fish.
The price of tuna has increased to VND170,000 ($8) a kilo due to high export demand.
Fisherman Mai Thanh Minh of Tuy Hoa City's Ward 6 in Phu Yen Province said his boat caught 1.5 tonnes of tuna fish and he earned a profit of VND100 million ($4,760).
"My first fishing trip in Tet met with favourable conditions. My crew and I will have a few days to enjoy a late Tet before preparing to go offshore again because tuna are now appearing in large quantities," he said.
Tet is a time when temperatures in the sea undergo big changes and it is also the time tuna move from colder water areas to warmer ones. So they can catch more tuna at this time, local fishermen say.
Tuna trading enterprises in Phu Yen have mobilised all facilities and labourers to purchase the plentiful catch during Tet.
Tran Thanh Son, owner of Thanh Son Enterprise, said despite the difficulties in exporting seafood during Tet, his company had purchased about 50 tonnes of tuna from Binh Dinh, Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa provinces.
Most tuna caught in the first fishing trip of the Lunar New Year met export standards, he said.
In recent days, breeder lobsters have appeared in large quantities off the coast of Phu Yen's Tuy An District.
Small boats with just one or two people on board can now catch eight to 12 breeder lobsters, and some even catch up to 40, according to fishermen in Tuy An's An Hai Commune.
An Hai now has more than 120 boats and 400 fishermen catching lobsters.
Ngo Xuan Yen, an official of the An Hai People's Committee, said with one breeder lobster fetching a price of between VND200,000-220,000 ($9.5-$10), each fisherman could earn VND500,000 ($24) a night.
The lobster catch is only half of what was caught during the same period last year, but their prices have increased 1.5 times.
The catching season for breeder lobster begins in October and lasts up to seven months.
In the southernmost province of Ca Mau, hundreds of fishing boats have also returned to shore in the first days of the lunar new year with their boats full of fish, shrimp and cuttlefish.
After deducting all expenses, each boat earned profits of VND50-150 million ($2,380-$7,140), according to local officials.
Fifteen days before Tet, Ca Mau had nearly 2,000 boats that went offshore fishing, they said. — VNS