|Phú Quốc Island District in Kiên Giang Province. The district’s project to breed oysters for pearls, combined with protection, preserving and regenerating natural aquatic resources, has achieved success. – VNA/VNS Photo Lê Sen|
KIÊN GIANG – A oyster breeding project in the Mekong Delta province of Kiên Giang which is part of larger effort to preserve and regenerate natural aquatic resources on Phú Quốc Island has seen positive results, according to Phú Quốc Reserve’s management board.
The project, which was approved by the provincial People’s Committee in 2016 and will last for 20 years, is being implemented on Hòn Vang island in Phú Quốc District’s Hòn Thơm Commune by the Phú Quốc Reserve and the private enterprise Ngọc Hiền Pearl.
In the project’s first phase from 2016 to this year, more than 2.4 million gold-lipped oysters were released into a pilot breeding area in Hòn Vang.
The oysters have adapted well to the breeding environment and have grown rapidly.
The breeding of gold-lipped oysters has helped regenerate natural aquatic species and diversify the ecosystem. High-value aquatic species like painted sweetlip, red grouper, sea urchin and commercial top shell have appeared in large numbers in the breeding area.
In addition, coral has developed well with diverse species, mostly hard coral.
The first phase of the project costs VNĐ10 billion (US$431,000), including fees to build small stilt houses in the sea for monitoring the breeding area, buying buoy marks to identify the breeding area, and patrolling the breeding area.
An additional 42 million gold-lipped oysters will be released for breeding in the first three years of the project’s second phase.
District agencies will also speak to locals about the value of protection and regeneration of natural aquatic resources.
Quảng Trọng Thao, deputy director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the project’s success was expected to attract investors to pour money into protecting and regenerating natural aquatic resources, including sea turtles, sea horses and small giant clams.
The regeneration of aquatic resources will help develop the district’s marine economy and tourism, he added.
The district was the first place in the southern region to breed oysters to harvest pearls, which has been done for about 30 years in floating cages in the sea.
The district’s pearls are considered high quality. – VNS