Busy year-end fish market at Phu Quoc port

By Ngoc Thanh   January 25, 2021 | 11:29 am GMT+7
In Phu Quoc, Vietnam's largest island, fishermen are occupied with selling the last catch of fresh seafood in the lead-up to Lunar New Year.
Kien Giang Province in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam is not only well recognized for its breathtaking beach views and resorts but for its bountiful supply of seafood.  The province has five major fishing ports with a total of around 10,000 fishing vessels over six meters long. Nearly half of those vessels are big enough for offshore fishing. One of the biggest fishing ports in the province is An Thoi on Phu Quoc Island, often witnessing hundreds of boats come and go each day.  The fishing industry in Kien Giang is exploited in various forms, of which traditional fishing techniques, angling and fishery logistics comprise the main sectors.

The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang is not only well recognized for its breathtaking beach views and resorts but also for its bountiful supply of seafood. It has five major fishing ports with a total of around 10,000 fishing vessels over six meters long. Nearly half of those vessels are big enough for offshore fishing.
One of the biggest fishing ports in the southern province is An Thoi on Phu Quoc island city, often witnessing hundreds of boats come and go each day.

At 5:30 a.m., a fishing boat returns to An Thoi Port after operating off the coast for several days with fully loaded baskets. Wild-caught fish is preserved on ice in the hull and categorized prior to distribution.  Nowadays, many fishing boats are equipped with radio and sonar devices to increase productivity and employ modern techniques to ensure quality and reduce the loss of fish stock.  In the last lunar months of the year, boats have to return to harbor to refuel and make preparations for shore leave and Tet (Lunar New Year).

At 5:30 a.m., a fishing boat returns to An Thoi Port after operating off the coast for several days with fully loaded baskets. Wild-caught fish is preserved on ice in the hull and categorized prior to distribution.
Nowadays, many fishing boats are equipped with radio and sonar devices to increase productivity and employ modern techniques to ensure quality and reduce the loss of fish stock.
In the last lunar months, boats would return to harbor to refuel and make preparations for the year's last shore leave before returning for Tet (Lunar New Year holiday), which peaks on Feb. 12 this year.

Returning from a long journey out at sea, Huynh Van Minh shows off his huge catch with a wide smile.  Smaller boats are tasked with transferring fish to land for wholesalers from the larger fishing vessels.  Minh used to work as a taxi driver but has turned to fishing because of travel restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, and to avoid the monthly service fee of VND700,000 ($30.34) he had to pay the taxi company. Now, he usually earns around VND500,000 ($21.67) a day fishing.

Returning from a long journey out at sea, Huynh Van Minh shows off his huge catch with a wide smile.
Smaller boats are tasked with transferring fish to land for wholesalers from the larger fishing vessels. Minh used to work as a taxi driver but has turned to fishing because of travel restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, and to avoid the monthly service fee of VND700,000 ($30) he had to pay the taxi company. Now, he usually earns around VND500,000 a day fishing.

Most fish species found here are tuna, barracuda, needlefish, mackerel, sea bream and anchovy.

Most fish species found here are tuna, barracuda, needlefish, mackerel, sea bream and anchovy.

Wholesalers from smaller fish markets flock here to source the best batches of seafood. Red sea bream and grouper are highly sought after. These kinds of fish are of high economic value, favored by restaurants and consumers because they are nutritious, tasty boast a chewy texture.

Wholesalers from smaller fish markets flock here to source the best batches of seafood.
Red sea bream and grouper are highly sought after. These kinds of fish are of high economic value, favored by restaurants and consumers because they are nutritious, tasty and boast a chewy texture.

Right after settling the deal, fish are quickly handled to reach customers as soon as possible because fish stored in ice for a long time could be easily spoilt in normal temperatures, Nguyen Tuan, a deliveryman for restaurants in An Thoi said.

"Right after settling the deal, fish are transported as soon as possible because fish that have been stored in ice for a long time could be easily spoilt," Nguyen Tuan, a deliveryman for restaurants in An Thoi said.

The last fish batch leaves the port at 7:00 a.m.

The last fish batch leaves the port at 7:00 a.m.

An Thoi fish market is crammed with fishmongers at 7:30 a.m.  This is the second most crowded fish market in Phu Quoc City. Thirty kilometers from here is the most crowded one, Duong Dong Market.

An Thoi fish market is crammed with fishmongers at 7:30 a.m. This is the second most crowded fish market in Phu Quoc city. Thirty kilometers from here is the most crowded one, Duong Dong Market.

One kilogram of large sized shrimp (around six shrimp) only costs VND350,000 ($15.17).

One kilogram of large-sized shrimp (around six shrimp) costs VND350,000 ($15).

The fresh fish retail market offers locals and individual customers a wide range of seafood choices.

The fresh fish retail market offers customers a wide range of seafood choices.

Fishing vessels return in the early morning. The shortest fishing journey lasts four days while the longest may last for months.  At this time of year, most offshore boats return to port to sell fish, do maintainance on the boat, and prepare for Tet, Nguyen Van Sa, a vessel owner said.

Fishing vessels return in the early morning. The shortest fishing journey lasts four days while the longest may last for months.
"At this time of year, most offshore boats return to port to sell fish, do maintenance on the boats, and prepare for Tet," Nguyen Van Sa, a vessel owner said.

During the storm and rainy season, boats and rafts move to find shelter. In the dry season, they flock to the south of the island, near high-end resort areas.

During the storm and rainy season, boats and rafts move to find shelter. In the dry season, from October to March, they flock to the south of the island, near high-end resort areas.

 
 
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