Seafood, seaweed nourish fisherfolk off Quang Ngai coast

By Linh Pham, Duy Sinh   September 18, 2021 | 08:53 am GMT+7
Drone shots capture the scale and strategies of fishing as locals catch seafood and harvest seaweed in Binh Chau Commune, Quang Ngai Province.
Seafood, seaweed nourish fisherfolk off Quang Ngai coast

Rowing their coracles away from each other to cast a net wide in a V shape, fishermen in the commune prepare to catch squid hidden under layers of green seaweed.

This seaweed is called Sargassum, which reproduces and develops naturally in the Binh Chau sea. Sargassum grows in coral reefs and underwater rocks and they often emerge from the water surface once fully grown, resembling an underwater forest.

Binh Chau is a well-known coastal commune that deploys hundreds of offshore fishing boats. Near the coast, the aquatic ecosystem is extremely rich, with abundant seafood.

Seafood, seaweed nourish fisherfolk off Quang Ngai coast

After casting their net in the V shape, the fishermen use their oars to hit the surface of the water to scare squid and other seafood into the net’s area.

Seafood, seaweed nourish fisherfolk off Quang Ngai coast

Once the squid are cornered, the fishermen jump into the water to catch them.

Seafood, seaweed nourish fisherfolk off Quang Ngai coast

In Chau Thuan Bien Village, a couple in two coracles spread their net to trap squid and other seafood, as also harvest seaweed.

The three months from June to August is the busiest time of the year for local fisherfolk who go out in their coracles to catch squid and seafood hidden in the seaweed forest.

Seafood, seaweed nourish fisherfolk off Quang Ngai coast

The underwater seaweed forest offers a seafood bounty for local fisherfolk. Locals said they try their best not to “disrupt” the seaweed ecosystem while fishing.

Seafood, seaweed nourish fisherfolk off Quang Ngai coast

A fishing boat and a coracle set their net traps to catch squid.

Seafood, seaweed nourish fisherfolk off Quang Ngai coast

Apart from fishing for squid and other seafood, locals also harvest seaweed that is plentiful in season.

Seafood, seaweed nourish fisherfolk off Quang Ngai coast

Before cutting the seaweed, the fisherfolk surround an area with their nets so that it does not drift away. One kilogram of seaweed fetches about VND5,000 ($0.22) and a fisherman can earn about VND200,000 ($8.78) a day during the harvest season.

 
 
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