Cheap lobsters on the street
A regular trader said small lobsters are being sold for only VND125,000 (USD6) per kilo, while large lobsters between 1.5-2.5kg, are around VND350,000 (USD17) per kilo. "These lobsters are brought from Nha Trang. Each day I sell at least ten kilogrammes."
Even though most of the lobsters, transported from Nha Trang to HCM City, are not live, they don't have any bad smell.
Le Cong D., owner of a restaurant, suspects that preservatives are being used to inhibit the growth of bacteria. "Lobsters usually cost about VND1.7-3 (USD82-144) million per kilo. These cheap lobsters are probably bad quality."
One customer said they bought one kilo for VND110,000, but complained about the taste, saying that it was bland.
The head of Department of Aquatic Resource Protection and Quality Management in HCMC said, "These lobsters have been dead for a long time and pose a potential health risk."
Doctors also advise consumers to avoid seafood that is not fresh because of the high probability of bacteria contamination.
The lobsters in Khanh Hoa are mostly sold to Chinese traders when exports are limited. Since only a relatively small amount of the product can be sold locally to restaurants, Vietnamese growers have found themselves unable to find buyers.
Khanh Hoa produces 1,000 tonnes of lobster per year, but since Chinese traders have stopped purchasing, the price has dropped from VND2.5 million per kilo to around VND1 million. Hundreds of farmers have suffered from the severe losses.