QUẢNG NAM — Hundreds of fishing vessels from the central province of Quảng Nam have returned home, loaded with various kinds of fish and shellfish from Hoàng Sa (Paracel Islands).
The bustling atmosphere is a familiar scene at Kỳ Hà Wharf in Tam Quang Commune.
Ngô Văn Minh, owner of one boat, believes his lucrative catch is a “lucky spring gift” from the sea to hardworking fishermen like him.
“I often go offshore during Tết,” he said. “We departed on the 17th day of the 12th lunar month. We enjoyed Tết in Hoàng Sa.”
After nearly 20 days, his ship gathered 14 tonnes of cá nục (round scad).
“On the morning of the 6th day of the lunar new year, all the fish were sold, and we made VNĐ300 million (US$13,000),” he said. “It’s wonderful for our first journey home, which predicts a profitable year of fishing.”
Võ Công Thảo, another captain, said he left before Tết. After a month fishing in Hoàng Sa, his ship returned home with 20 tonnes of tuna and round scad.
“It’s more than we expected,” he said. “The price of the fish is also higher than normal. We sold a kilo of round scad at VNĐ50,000 ($2.2) and kilo of tuna for VNĐ45,000 ($1.9).”
After deducting costs, each fisherman will get a decent pay packet.
“It’s a kind of lucky money that the sea gave us,” he said.
On the 6th day of the lunar new year, fishermen host a ceremony to wish for clement weather all year round so locals can go fishing offshore.
Nguyễn Vương, from Tam Quang Commune, said local fishermen go offshore even during Tết as the season offers abundant hauls.
“We still go fishing as we can live well with the fish we catch, and also we affirm our sovereignty over the islands,” he said.
Returning home after the Tết trip, fishermen will rest for some days before returning to sea.
There are some 2,300 ships in the district, more than half of vessels in the whole province. Among them, 200 ships are of 400CV to 1,100CV in capacity, which often fish around the Hoàng Sa and Trường Sa (Spratly Islands) archipelagos.
Those in neighbouring provinces like Bình Định and Quảng Ngãi have also welcomed home hundreds of ships from sea after the Tết holiday. — VNS