Viet Nam News
KIÊN GIANG — Tiên Hải, an island commune in Kiên Giang Province’s Hà Tiên City, plans to breed more spotted babylon snails, which are highly valuable.
The key economic sectors in the commune, home to 16 large and small islands as well as two submerged islands, are fishing and aquaculture.
Its sea areas are pristine and have great potential for aquaculture.
Local farmers traditionally breed fish like gudgeon, cobia and seabass in floating cages near coastal areas.
Phan Thanh Bình, vice chairman of the commune’s People’s Committee, said that two years ago aquaculture companies discovered that the area was good for spotted babylon snails because the sea was clean and quiet.
They began breeding the snail on a pilot basis and achieved high profits, he said.
Phạm Thiện Nhân, owner of a spotted babylon breeding establishment in Tiên Hải’s Hòn Tre Hamlet, said he began breeding in Phú Quốc District in 2006 and produced baby snails to sell to other breeders.
“Last year I began breeding the spotted babylon in Tiên Hải because the commune’s environment is suitable for farming the snail,” he said.
Breeding lasts for three to five months.
The best time to release spotted babylon juveniles into the breeding area is in late afternoon when there is little sunlight. This ensures a high survival rate of the snail.
Nhân breeds about 4 million spotted babylon juveniles on a 2,500sq.m breeding area with a depth of three metres, about 300m from the coast.
He harvests about 20 tonnes a crop and earns a profit of about VNĐ3 billion (US$129,000).
Spotted babylon juveniles are fed with fresh ground crab in the first two months of the breeding period so they can absorb calcium to develop their shell.
From the third month, the snail is fed with fresh ground fish, mostly anchovy.
The snail is fed in the morning and afternoon each day. Uneaten food is removed immediately to avoid water pollution.
The commune’s spotted babylon snails are mostly sold to Phú Quốc District and HCM City. The snail is in high demand for its delicious taste and high nutrients.
The spotted babylon is sold at an average price of VNĐ300,000 ($13) a kilo in the market.
Because of high demand, the commune’s local authorities are asking the Hà Tiên City Economy Division to provide courses on breeding the spotted babylon to local farmers.
The commune will also lease sea areas for local farmers to breed the snail, according to local authorities.
Spotted babylon breeding establishments in the commune have pledged to share experiences and farming techniques to those who want to breed the snails. – VNS