Glimpses of working life at Nha Trang fishing port

By Huynh Phuong   July 28, 2019 | 08:12 pm GMT+7

At Hon Ro, men fish with nets made by women and children find the nets ideal to nap on.

Photo by Pham Hung

Photo by Pham Hung.

Boats anchored at Hon Ro Port in Phuoc Dong Commune, 7 km from Nha Trang's center, Khanh Hoa Province. One of the biggest fishing ports on the south-central coast, it serves offshore fishing vessels. 

Photo by Pham Hung.

Photo by Pham Hung.

The anchovy season is between the second and eighth lunar months (March-September on the Gregorian calendar this year). If you visit the port early in the morning, you can see fishermen throwing nets to catch fish near shore.

Once the boat is anchored, the fishermen hang the net now with many anchovies after their fishing mission on the side of the embankment of a dam. They proceed to use a long stick with plastic foam attached on one end and repeatedly hit the net so that the anchovy slide down the net placed underneath. 

Photo by Nguyen Hoai Van/Your Shot National Geographic

Photo by Nguyen Hoai Van/Your Shot National Geographic.

Fishermen pass baskets full of fish to each other which later is brought to the market for sale. 

Photo by Phu Phan

Photo by Phu Phan.

The fish is classified, preserved in ice and sent to the market. 

Photo by Nguyen Hoai Van/Your Shot National Geographic

Photo by Nguyen Hoai Van/Your Shot National Geographic

The anchovies are dried. A fisherman with over 40 years’ experience said this job is not reliable since it depends on how much fish is caught. A fisherman who does this earns about VND6 million ($259) a month. "Though it is extremely difficult, we love our job and life at sea," he said.

Photo by Jean-noel Chatelain

Photo by Jean-noel Chatelain.

While men go out to sea, women stay on land and make fishnets for a living, earning around VND100,000 ($4.3) a day. To make large nets, they use tools like a plastic mesh hook that looks like a pin to sew, a small knife and coils.

A woman who has been making nets for 20 years said: "I take this job from any ship owner, sometimes I don’t sew the net at the port but instead do it on their boat when they are fishing [at sea]." 

Photo by Pham Hung

Photo by Pham Hung.

A scene like this of locals making nets attracts many curious tourists and photographers.

Photo by Pham Hung

Photo by Pham Hung.

Pham Hung, a photographer who finds Nha Trang fishing life a constant inspiration for his works, said making nets for a living is tough but the women work patiently to earn money to take care of their children.

"During summer vacation kids accompany their mothers to the port. Some of them rest on the nets their mothers are working on, and to me that’s such a tranquil scene."

 
 
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