Viet Nam News
MEKONG DELTA — Lý Văn Bon is making a fortune breeding river fish in cages in a tributary of the Mekong River. He ís farming the fish, known as Cá thát lát knifefish (notopterus), in the Hau River and believes he ís the first to do so.
Bon has also opened his farm to tourists, adding to his income.
He lives at Bùi Hữu Nghĩa Ward, Bình Thủy District in Cần Thơ City. His homeland was in U Minh Hạ in Cà Mau Province, a long time fish and shrimp breeding area.
This gave Bon a passion for fish breeding, so he decided to study at Nha Trang Fisheries University. A chance encounter with a French seafood expert in 1998 changed his life. Both talked a lot about fish and shrimp-breeding.
The Frenchman told Bon that if he wanted to breed fish, Việt Nam was the best place in the world to do it.
He also told Bon that natural fish were being over-exploited and that many types would vanish if they were not farmed.
When his French mentor went to see the Hậu River at the foot of Cồn Sơn, he noticed that the currents were very strong.
Many various varieties of fish gathered here to feed on the organisms in the oxygenated water so he selected the area to invest in fish-breeding.
Bon, then working with Customs, decided to focus on fish-cage breeding at Cồn Sơn.
Initially, he noticed that red tiapila was popular among consumers and was easy to raise. Several years later, the price of these fish declined, causing Bon to make substantial losses.
Bon went searching for new types of fish to breed and accidentally met an experienced fish breeder named Tư Kháng, who successfully brought knifefish from Cambodia to breed in Cần Thơ. Tư Kháng was supported by Cần Thơ University researchers who ran a development farm to supply knifefish to Japan.
Bon invested in breeding 250,000 knifefish, and earned a profit of VNĐ2 billion with his first sales of 80 tonnes of knifefish.
At present, he owns 30 fish-breeding cages covering a total of 5,000sq.m of water.
Then the tourists started coming, so he opened a sea-food processing workshop that produced and sold fish to visitors.
Every day, Bon seels from 300 to 500kg of fresh fish to traders and seafood agencies. He estimates profit from fish alone is a few billion đồng per year. — VNS