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Quang Ngai lobster farmers suffer after mystery disease

Update: October, 05/2015 - 09:19
Farmers harvest lobsters on Ly Son Island in the central province of Quang Ngai. The province has suffered losses due to recent lobster deaths. — VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Hoa

QUANG NGAI (VNS) — Lobster farmers in Ly Son Island off central Quang Ngai province are suffering from severe losses due to the death of lobsters in recent days.

Within the last week, 15 per cent of lobsters raised in the district have been reported dead, Le Van Doi, Deputy Head of Economic and Rural Infrastructure Department has said.

Doi said the dead ones weigh between 300gr and 500gr.

Vo Van Thanh, a local farmer in An Vinh commune last week said although he has been checking and conducting sanitary treatment for the cages, but he could not find the reason for the deaths.

Thanh also said the price of the lobster breed ranges from VND320,000 to VND350,000 (US$14.2-$15.6) per kilo, hence, four to five lobster breeds dying per day is costing farmers more than VND1 million ($44.5).

In the market, the price of commercial lobsters continues to drop to as much as half compared to last year. For most farmers, their entire capital and loans are poured into raising lobsters so bankruptcy is quite possible, Thanh said.

Deputy Head of the Veterinary Station of the district, Truong Dinh Nho said the station has co-operated with related agencies to investigate the cause.

According to the investigation, some farming households bought lobster breeds of an unknown origin and failed to comply with farming procedures, thereby affecting the growth of lobsters.

Moreover, when the lobsters got sick, farmers were unable to promptly detect early signs of disease resulting in mass deaths.

On the other hand, it could also be caused by hot weather, oxygen deficiency at the bottom of the water body or from contamination caused by leftover food, Nho said.

The Economic and Rural Infrastructure Department is co-ordinating with local agencies to encourage farmers to harvest sellable lobsters, move the cages and lobsters to other farming areas not affected by pollution. — VNS

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