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In this Vietnamese fishing village, seashells are really sold by the seashore

In this Vietnamese fishing village, seashells are really sold by the seashore

Friday, August 02, 2019, 17:34 GMT+7
In this Vietnamese fishing village, seashells are really sold by the seashore
A panoramic view of a fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Photo: Tuan Son / Tuoi Tre

In a small fishing village in south-central Vietnam, merchants gather on the beach each morning to buy fresh seafood from fisherman the moment they make it ashore. 

Mui Ne, the easternmost ward of Phan Thiet City, which is the coastal capital of Binh Thuan Province, is located 22 kilometers from the city center and more than 200 kilometers northeast of Ho Chi Minh City.

The coastline that stretches between Phan Thiet’s center and Mui Ne is home to hundreds of beach resorts, restaurants, bars, shops, and cafés that have sprung up since tourism in the township first experienced a boom in the mid-1990s, thanks tourists flocking to the area to see a solar eclipse on October 24, 1995.

While tourism has transformed Mui Ne’s economy, its residents, who have for generations earned their living from fishing activities and seafood trades, have remained faithful to their age-old coastal lifestyle.

Every morning at sunrise, hundreds of merchants line up along one of Mui Ne’s beaches in orderr to purchase fresh batches of seafood as they arrive on shore.

Merchants trade seafood in a fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Video: Tuan Son / Tuoi Tre

Seafood is taken fresh from large fishing vessels anchored far from shore to avoid grounding and transported to the beach by hand-paddled basket boat.

Prices are unsurprisingly cheap. Whole-shell scallops, the area’s seasonal catch, can be bought for as low as VND4,000 (US$0.17) per kilogram, or cheaper if the buyer is a good bargainer.

Squids, mantis shrimp, and saltwater crabs are also traded at the makeshift fish market, which is busiest in the early morning and becomes less crowded as the clock ticks toward noon.

The scent of the sea wafts through the air as metric tons of seafood lines the sands against a backdrop of crashing waves and hurried merchants.

Merchants trade seafood at a local fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Photo: Tuan Son / Tuoi Tre

Merchants trade seafood in a fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Photo: Tuan Son / Tuoi Tre

Seafood are weighed and sold right by the seashore at a local fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Photo: Tuan Son / Tuoi Tre

Seafood is weighed and sold right by the seashore in a fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Photo: Tuan Son / Tuoi Tre

A man handles a basket of whole-shell scallops at a local fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre

A man handles a basket of whole-shell scallops in a fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Merchants trade seafood at a local fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Merchants trade seafood in a fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Merchants trade seafood at a local fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Merchants trade seafood in a fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Merchants trade seafood at a local fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Merchants trade seafood in a fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Seafood are weighed and sold right by the seashore at a local fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Seafood is weighed and sold right by the seashore in a fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Seafood are weighed and sold right by the seashore at a local fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Seafood is weighed and sold right by the seashore in a fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Seafood are weighed and sold right by the seashore at a local fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Seafood is weighed and sold right by the seashore in a fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Merchants trade seafood at a local fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Merchants trade seafood in a fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Merchants trade seafood at a local fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Merchants trade seafood in a fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Merchants trade seafood at a local fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Merchants trade seafood in a fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Merchants wait on a beach for fresh seafood to arrive in conical boats at a local fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Merchants wait on a beach for fresh seafood to arrive in conical boats in a fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam July 31, 2019. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre

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