Viet Nam News
KHÁNH HOÀ – Many fishermen in the central province of Khánh Hoà are becoming prosperous by catching and selling young lobsters to breeding farms.
Nguyễn Văn Nam, 37, who catches them 400m off shore, said he earns VNĐ700,000-800,000 (US$32-36) a night and sometimes up to VNĐ5 million ($227), and is planning to rebuild his dilapidated house.
He switched to catching young lobster in 2013 after fishing offshore for more than 10 years and struggling to earn enough.
Within a year he was able to repay a VNĐ100 million ($4,500) loan he had taken to buy tools for catching the lobsters.
The young crustaceans fetch around VNĐ250,000 ($11) a kilo.
Vĩnh Lương in Khánh Hoà’s Nha Trang City was one of the country’s first fishing villages to catch young lobsters. Some 40 per cent of fishermen in the village earn their livelihoods from catching the lobsters.
The waters off Vĩnh Lương have optimum conditions for lobsters to live and reproduce since it is near straits and lagoons.
Lobster farming has been growing in the central region, especially in south-central provinces, for more than 15 years.
In Khánh Hoà, more than 23,300 lobster cages are farmed each year, accounting for 40 per cent of the country’s total, according to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
But the juveniles caught at sea can only meet 30 per cent of the farms’ needs, and they have to buy them from other provinces and even countries.
Young lobsters have to be caught at sea since the crustacean does not spawn in captivity.
Under a Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development plan through 2020, lobster farming will be a key economic activity in the central region.
It targets increasing the farming area to around 1 million cubic meters and the output to 1,940 tonnes by 2020.
Tropical rock lobsters and scalloped spiny lobsters are the major varieties of lobsters farmed in the country. — VNS