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May 4, 2014



8,000 to 10,000 Lobster Farms


The Vietnamese Department of Fisheries reports that since 2000 between 8,000 and 10,000 lobster farms have been established in the country, mostly along the central coast, from Quang Binh Province to Binh Thuan Province.  Farmers grow wild-caught juveniles in sea-cages made from wood or wire.  Phu Yen Province has the most sea cages, more than 22,500, followed by Khanh Hoa Province with more than 16,300 cages.  The Department estimates that Vietnam produces nearly 1,400 metric tons of farmed lobsters a year, returning annual profits of $166 million to the farmers.


According to Nguyen Tri Phuong, deputy director of Phu Yen’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, fishermen harvest wild juvenile lobsters (4-6 centimeters) using purse seines, traps and divers.  He said, “Diseases...may develop in the period between harvesting and their release into cages.”  One common disease is called “milky disease”, which is assumed to be the result of poor handling and rearing techniques.  It is likely to be induced by stress during handling and poor water quality during transport from the sea to farms.


Lobster farmer Nguyen Van Nam from Khanh Hoa Province’s Van Phong Bay said it was extremely difficult to breed lobsters artificially, so all seedstock comes from the sea.  Since the quantity of juveniles varies from year to year, prices are unstable.  In early 2014, for example, prices jumped sharply because of a shortage of supplies.  “At the beginning of the year, a kilogram of lobster [juveniles] could be sold wholesale for nearly $119, then it gradually went down to $109–$85, and now is at $76.”


Nguyen Thanh Tung, Director of the Institute for Aquaculture Economy and Planning, said that the area available for lobster farming was continually dwindling because tourism and other types of development made it difficult to find good sites for cages.  “At the moment, not many special areas have been set for lobster farming, so that many cages are placed inside areas technically set aside for tourism and industry,” Tung said.


Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vu Van Tam called for a master plan for lobster farming.  “Once there is a plan, localities will have the basis to set aside certain sea areas to raise lobsters,” he said.  Tam also urged research institutes to undertake studies on breeding lobsters from eggs and added that farmers need to learn how to produce better feeds for the young lobsters and find ways to reduce losses during growout.


Source: Vietnam News.  Lobster Farmers Need Breeding Plan.  May 3, 2014.

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