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Quảng Bình fishermen disillusioned with trade

Update: February, 16/2017 - 07:00
Fishing vessels anchor at Quảng Bình Province’s port. — VNA/VNS Photo Thế Duyệt
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Dozens of fishing vessels in central coastal Quảng Bình Province’s Đức Trạch Commune have lain idle because the owners of the boats could not find labourers for offshore fishing.

Data showed that the commune has 240 offshore fishing vessels, which require about 1,700 labourers to operate. However, it is short of 300 labourers to make use of the unused vessels, reported the Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper.

Trương Công Hoạt, chairman of the Đức Trạch commune’s Farmer’s Union, said “It’s very rare to see fishing vessels lying idle on the coast after the First Full Moon Festival, but this year it happened.”

Although owners of the fishing vessels offered salary of VNĐ3-7 million (US$130-300) per month for each labourer, they still failed to find enough labourers, he said.

Bảo Ninh Commune faces a similar problem.

Nguyễn Ngọc Hiếu, chairman of the People’s Committee of the commune said that only about 120 fishing vessels had went fishing offshore so far this year, one third of the total number of fishing vessels in the commune.

“It’s a very worrying situation,” he said.

Nguyễn Văn, an owner of a fishing vessel said he had recruited 20 labourers. However, most of them came from Quảng Ninh District’s Hải Ninh Commune.

Văn said he had to visit each family of his labourers during Tết (Lunar New Year) to ensure they would honour their commitment.

According to Hoạt, the environmental disaster that polluted the sea of four central coastal provinces of Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị and Thừa Thiên Huế, last year by Taiwanese Hưng Nghiệp Formosa Hà Tĩnh Steel Corporation, was to blame for the situation.

Hoạt said the income of fishermen was down after the environmental disaster, in some cases by 80 per cent.

This forced many fishermen to find another job or fish from a different locality, he said.

Some went to work abroad and others went south to fish, he said.

Nguyễn Văn Đào, a fisherman, said a lot of fishermen were disillusioned by fishing after the environmental incident. They often quit and told their children to do another job.

Fishermen return to Quảng Trị

Nearly 300 fishermen from central coastal Quảng Trị Province’s Gio Hải Commune, who moved to southern provinces to work after the environmental disaster, have returned to the locality.

Trần Văn Chương, secretary of the Party Committee of Gio Hải Commune said data showed that about 50 tonnes fish were caught between January 29 and February 7.

Since early February, Gio Hải beach has been busy, full of sellers and buyers for fresh fish, he said.

Hồ Văn Thu, a local fisherman said after two days of fishing, his vessel was filled with two tonnes of anchovy, worth about VNĐ30 million ($1,300).

Major Lê Đăng Hoàng, from Cửa Việt Border Guard Station told Quảng Trị Television that it was a convenient time to fish near the shore, especially for anchovy and herring.

In the next two months, local high-capacity fishing vessels would start fishing offshore, he said.

“Vessels full of fresh fish in the first days of the Lunar New Year is believed to be a good sign for a successful year for our fishermen,” he said.

Hoàng Văn Vinh, chairman of the People’s Committee of Hải Lăng District said about 100 fishing vessels in the district were fishing for blue crabs.

Trần Viễn, a fisherman of the district’s Hải Khê Commune said at the local beach, blue crabs sold for about VNĐ300,000($13) per kilo.

Vessel owners could earn about VNĐ3-10 million ($132-439) a day by catching blue crabs, he said. — VNS

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