KHANH HOA (VNS)— Since January, a mysterious disease has killed nearly 90 per cent of the lobsters in Cam Binh Commune, Cam Ranh City in the central province of Khanh Hoa.
Huynh Van Long, a farmer in the commune's Binh Ba Dong Village, has raised nearly 3,000 lobsters since the end of 2011.
"I strictly obeyed the process for feeding and taking care of the lobsters described to me by the provincial centre for encouraging agricultural expansion, but they were still hit by the disease," he said.
Like Long, most of the other 950 households in the commune that raise lobsters suffered significant losses of about VND600-700 million (US$28,570-33,300).
Lobsters typically sickened when they weighed 200-300g, farmers said. When the sick lobsters died, they lost their legs – where a number of tiny organisms could be seen with the naked eye – and released a foul smell.
The lobsters that remain in the cage also got weaker, ignoring their food and swimming with less vigorousness than usual.
Currently there are only a few hundred lobsters left in Lan's cages. Dozens die every day.
Testing by the Research Institute for Agriculture revealed that the sick lobsters suffered from Fusarium SP fungus, Vibrio bacteria and Ciliphora worms, said Tran Van Hoa, chairman of the Cam Binh People's Committee.
The Khanh Hoa Aquaculture Department advised local farmers to quarantine sick lobsters to prevent the disease from spreading. Farmers were also advised to treat the animals with antibiotics and bathe them in formalin and hydrogen peroxide, but the treatments have not seen much success.
"The treatment has been applied for nearly two weeks. But the lobsters' condition has not improved much," said Hoa.
So far the local authorities have no plan to provide financial assistance to farmers. — VNS