Trung Luong Village in Phu Cat District’s Cat Tien Commune in the central province of Binh Dinh is a small fishing village located at the foot of Mount Ba.
The livelihood of some 150 fishermen and their families, all of whom go fishing on basket boats for fish, crabs and squids, are dependent on the mood of the sea.
One family there typically spends VND60 million annually, including a VND2-3 million on traditional hand-made basket boats (or VND12-14 million on composite engine-driven basket boats), VND13-15 million on each fishnet set (for fish, crab and squid), and other costs.
They often work nonstop during the Lunar New Year, or Tet, holiday, due to surging demand which can double or even triple seafood prices.
At about 3:00 pm daily, the fishermen would set sail for a destination situated a minimum 300m from shore to cast their nets at a minimum depth of 2.5-3m under sea level. The work often takes 2 hours before they get back to rest.
They set off again at 3:00 am to harvest for a daily income of VND200,000-700,000 per family.
Sometimes, if they are in luck, they can earn up to several millions of dong per day, but sometimes, when luck runs out, they would only earn enough to cover the costs of fuel.
In Trung Luong, almost all men go fishing, while their wives take care of housework, bring up children, mend their nets, and do other logistical services for their husbands.
Early in the morning, the women would wait for their husband to come back, help carry the boats ashore, bring breakfast along for their husbands, and then fetch the fish to market for sale.