At present, there are about 460 households in the commune engaged in raising lobsters involving over 400 rafts. Each large raft consists of 20-50 or even 200 cages. On average, each cage can raise from 70 to 100 lobsters. Thus, the total number of lobsters raised in the area is about 800,000.
Lobsters are raised on rafts, mainly from Bai Nga to Bai Lau in Vung Ro Bay. The place has all the most favourable conditions for lobster-breeding because it is surrounded by mountains and has an average depth of over 10m.
Lobsters have a high economic value. Each lobster, which weighs about 1kg, is sold for 1.6 million VND, an increase of 300,000 VND over last year. It is the highest price ever because in previous years the price of each kilo of lobsters fluctuated from 1.3 to 1.4 million VND.
Tran Van Ngai, Chairman of Hoa Xuan Nam Commune People’s Committee said: “In 2010, the local farmers only harvested about 200,000 lobsters. However, the number increased two folds in 2011.”
Never before had the lobster raisers felt satisfied with a lobster harvest like they did in 2011. It was considered the best bumper crop ever. During the harvest, each day Vung Ro sells from 500kg to nearly 1 tonne of lobsters.
Many lobster-raising families like Nguyen Cut, Le Duc Tien, Do Nam and Nguyen Hien earn from 700 million to 1 billion VND for each crop and more farmers have become billionaires. After seeing high profits from lobster breeding, many families plan to invest in and expand lobster-raising rafts.
According to Dang Xuan Ngoi, President of Hoa Xuan Nam Commune Farmers’ Association, each family raises at least hundreds of lobsters and many others even raise thousands. In the past two years, the lobsters have suffered less from diseases and the price was high so the farmers made a good profit.
Last year, Ngoi’s family raised 1,000 lobsters and earned about 600 million VND after deducting expenses. This year, he raised more than 5,000 lobsters and sold 400 lobsters, earning over 670 million VND. After the harvest his family expects to sell 600 lobsters and make a profit of more than 700 million VND. The remaining lobsters will be used for the next crop.
Previously, most families in the commune lived mainly from fishing, including lobstering. However, due to overfishing, the seafood resource has gradually been exhausted. In addition, fishing is a risky business so their lives were not stable. When they began raising lobsters, their living standards improved and some became billionaires.
To encourage the farmers to develop their business, the Vietnam Farmers’ Association and the Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development issued a joint resolution to allow the families to borrow money to raise lobsters.
Each family is given a loan of 20 million VND. Furthermore, Dong Hoa District has also restructured the aquaculture branches which are suitable for each region and built residential quarters and designed fishing routes to promote aquatic products. It also popularizes, mobilizes, protects and strictly punishes illegal activities like using chemicals to catch marine life.
Vung Ro in particular and Dong Hoa District in general have economic strategies that harmonize with the protection of the sea’s resources and environment to help the local people both use the sea to get rich and to protect it.
Vung Ro Bay is out of the wind, suitable for raising lobsters in raft cages. Cleaning the floating cages. Small fish are the main food of lobsters. Lobsters are often fed in the early morning. Lobsters grow well in raft cages. A harvested lobster weighs from 1.3 to 1.5 kg. VCW