| Ca ro Tong Truong |
Previously, at the parties, where Ninh Binh’s local residents organized to feast guests, they sometimes mentioned some species of precious fish, thought to get extinct. Two of the species are ca ro Tong Truong and ca trau tien vua, which was recorded in the history as the fish for the kings of the Dinh and Le dynasties.
People complained that they had not found the species of fish for the last many years. In thoughts of Ninh Binh’s people, the fishes have got extinct.
According to Ngo Sy Van, MA, Chair of the project on preserving and developing ca ro Tong Truong and ca trau tien vua, prior to 1990s, the total output of ca trau caught from wild was 600 kilos per annum. In 2005-2006, the output was 50-100 kilos, while the figure dropped further to 20-40 kilos in 2007. The output in the next year was inconsiderable.
However, one day, when travelers visited the Tran Temple, they surprisingly found out that the precious fishes still have been living, on a small valley. Especially, this is the only place where the fish choose to live and die.
Duong Dinh Thanh, who has been living on the valley area for the last many years, is believed to be the person who has deepest knowledge about the fish. In 1970s, he rowed a boat to the valley every day to catch fish and snail. When he got older, he decided to move to settle down here, offering incense every day at the Tran Temple.
Thanh said that there were a lot of fish in the past on the valley, including the black carps weighing tens of kilos, the giant eels weighing more than one kilo. However, ca ro Tong Truong and ca trau tien vua remain the two most precious fish species.
He had been catching the fish for the last many years and eating them as other normal kinds of food until one day, when he was told by the scientists that the fish have got extinct. The scientists visited him by chance and were feasting on the fish.
After the trip of the scientists, Thanh has been asked to take care for the valley and prevent any behaviors of catching fish to protect them.
Thanh pointed his hands to the fish whisking the tails under water, saying that these were ca trau. It is easy to catch ca trau, while it is more difficult to find ca ro Tong Truong. Thanh has to lay the bait to catch them. The fish live in swamps or flooded caves.
Ca ro Tong Truong is much bigger than other normal anabas. Thanh usually catches the fish weighing 0.5 kilos. Since the fish live on dark caves, there are many genetic variations. The meat of ca ro Tong Truong is greasy, fragrant, and very tasty. Ca trau is also very delicious with special flavor. Therefore, in the past, the fish were considered the special gifts offered to the kings.
Also according to Thanh, the two precious fish still can survive because they are wise enough to choose the valley to live in. The valley is located far in the mountain, where there is only one path to the valley. Thanh’s responsibility is to stay at the entrance to the valley and prevent any behaviors of catching fish. Besides, there are many dark caves, thus making difficult for hunters to catch fish. Source: VTC