Farmers expand breeding of high-value fish in floating cages in Ninh Thuận

September 11, 2021 - 09:02

Farmers in the south-central province of Ninh Thuận are investing more in marine aquaculture as they sell for high prices.


Marine fish and lobsters are bred in floating cages in Ninh Thuận Province’s Ninh Hải District. – VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Thành

NINH THUẬN – Farmers in the south-central province of Ninh Thuận are investing more in marine aquaculture as products could be sold for high price.

In Ninh Hải District, which is one of the province’s major marine aquaculture areas, farmers breed high-value marine fish species such as cobia, grouper and pomfret.

Lương Thị Hiền, one of the first farmers in Ninh Hải’s Khánh Hải Town to breed marine fish, said she bought 500 grouper fry for her first marine fish breeding crop raised in floating cages.

After 10 months of breeding, she harvested more than 300 kilogrames of grouper and earned VNĐ50 million (US$2,200) after selling them. Because of the high value, she has decided to expand cultivation.

Groupers eat trash fish and bran, and can reach a weight of one kilogramme after 10 months of breeding. Traders buy them at the high price of VNĐ150,000 – 180,000 ($7 - 8) a kilogramme. 

Besides marine fish, farmers in Ninh Hải breed lobsters and bivalve mollusk species like Pacific oysters.

Nguyễn Hữu Tài in Ninh Hải’s Tri Hải Commune, who has four floating cages of Pacific oysters, has harvested two floating cages, earning an income of nearly VNĐ90 million ($3,900).

Pacific oysters eat natural food in the sea and can be harvested after four to five months. The price of Pacific oysters is also stable, Tài said.

Competitive advantages

With a coastline of more than 105km and many lagoons and bays, the province has advantages for marine aquaculture development.

It currently has 800 floating breeding cages for marine fish, with an annual output of 190 tonnes, according to the province’s Fisheries Sub-department.

It also has 402 oyster floating cages and 2,642 lobster floating cages. In the first eight months of the year, farmers in the province harvested about 30 tonnes of lobsters.

Despite travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, farmers have been able to sell lobsters at a high price of VNĐ600,000 - 2.3 million ($26 - 100) per kilogramme depending on their size and variety.

Đặng Văn Tín, head of the sub-department, said the province’s marine aquaculture models have provided jobs and increased farmers' incomes.

The province is expanding zoned breeding areas and applying advanced breeding techniques, as well as focusing on marine species that have high value, demand and competitiveness.

Farmers have been encouraged to take part in organic and biological marine aquaculture to achieve sustainable development.

The province is also providing training courses to teach farmers breeding techniques and how to monitor diseases and the water environment. 

Sales of marine fish inside and outside the province are also being promoted.

Advanced breeding techniques are being promoted to attract more investors and traders. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) floating cages based on a Norwegian method, for example, are more resistant to wind and sea waves than traditional wooden floating cages. – VNS