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Ban to prevent growth overfishing enacted in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta

Saturday, August 05, 2017, 13:30 GMT+7

Authorities in the southern province of An Giang are strictly enacting a rule to prevent growth overfishing, a practice of harvesting fish before their growth potential is fully reached, to protect the local precious stock of Siamese mud carp.

Local fishermen are banned from going for catches between June 1 and August 31, and from catching Siamese mud carp smaller than 50mm in length, according to the rule.

The ban is intended to stop growth overfishing and allow the fish to grow to their full size, which would produce the maximum yield per recruit, next month.

Administrators in An Giang have vigorously executed the order, having stopped and slapped fines to three cases of fishing during the past two months.

Even though the ban has affected many locals whose lives depend on this fishing season, the locals have no choice but to wait until the end of August to start catching the fish.

Nguyen Huu Hai, a 57-year-old resident of An Giang’s An Phu District, said he earned a substantial amount of money this time last year, but because of the ban, his fishing net is now left in the house corner to gather cobweb.

At the beginning of June, a kilogram of Siamese mud carp would fetch up to VND40,000 (US$1.7) to VND50,000 (US$2.2). However, from September, prices will drop to only VND6,000 (30 cents) a kilogram.

Mai Phu Hung, another fisherman in An Phu, is also struggling to make a living as he could not catch the fish at the moment.

Some local fishermen wish that instead of banning fishing from June to August, the order should be changed in a way that people can still go fishing, but with nets that have bigger holes so small fry will not be caught.

Siamese mud carp is one of the most favorite dishes in the Mekong Delta, which can be cooked with fish sauce and eaten with local vegetables such as common sesban.

A fisherman is seen catching Siamese mud carp in An Phu District, An Giang Province.
A fisherman is seen catching Siamese mud carp in An Phu District, An Giang Province.

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