|Fishermen in the central province of Khanh Hoa, which leads the country in lobster farming, have had a poor catch of young lobsters since the sea has been unusually smooth during the current lobster catching season. — Photo baokhanhhoa.com.vn
HCM CITY (VNS)— Fishermen in the central province of Khanh Hoa, which leads the country in lobster farming, have had a poor catch of young lobsters since the sea has been unusually smooth during the current lobster catching season.
The season, from November to March, usually sees rough seas causing juveniles to appear in large quantities.
Tran Van Hung of Ninh Ho town said he had been catching young lobsters for 12 years and this year has been the least productive.
"I have been able to catch a maximum of two lobsters a day since the beginning of the season. There have been many days when I caught none.
"Last year there were days I could catch up to 30."
The scarcity this year has also caused prices to increase, with traders now buying juveniles at VND350,000 (USVND355,680) each, VND100,000 (VND100,035) higher than a year ago, he said.
Pham Thi Lo, a trader in Ninh Ho, said, "I have been able to buy only 30 young lobsters so far in this season."
Tran Hai, chairman of the Ninh Hai Ward People's Committee, said the poor catch had affected the lives of dozens of local fishermen's families.
Fishermen in ward had been going out to sea for two months this season, but after a few trips without a single lobster, many had stopped and switched to other jobs.
The scarcity has also caused difficulties for lobster farmers.
Phan Hung, who has been farming the crustacean for many years in Van Ninh District's Van Thanh Commune, said, "The price of juvenile lobsters is so high that I and many other lobster farming households here do not dare to invest much in lobster farming."
He himself bought only 500 this year.
Every year Khanh Hoa farmers farm the creatures in more than 23,300 cages, accounting for more than 40 per cent of the country's total, according to the province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
But with the supply of young lobsters usually meeting only 30-40 per cent of demand, they have to buy from other provinces and countries.
In Viet Nam, juveniles are still caught at sea and bred since production on farms has not proved successful. — VNS