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Traditional fishing equipment in Phu Yen

Mon, 15 Sep 2014 . Last updated Thu, 25 Jun 2015 08:49

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Phu Yen province is located in Central Coast Vietnam. Traveling here, tourists will have the chance to learn about the different fishing tools that local fishermen use in order to carry out their profession, it has been amazing.

Fishing is an ancient tradition in Vietnam. Local Vietnamese fishermen catch fishes directly from the beach, in lagoons or on the sea helped by the tidal water. Over time, various traditional fishing equipments have been developed. Every person around here knows how to use one of the local fishing boats, a traditional Vietnamese fishing boat.

Basket boat is a familiar sight in Vietnamese areas and widely employed in the central coastal provinces as a way for fishermen to earn their daily living. The boats are also employed as mobile convenient stores in ports selling food and drinks to fishermen before they departed. After catching fish, they are also used to transport the fishes to the shore.

Located by the Con River, Phu My village is well-known for the traditional craft making basket boats. Basket boats made by Phu My villagers have been exported to different countries around the globe including Thailand and Switzerland.  The family of Trung and Kieu has been making the basket boats more than 10 years. The couple owns a production facility in the village. They are very proud that their products are known by foreign customers.

The primary feature of basket boat is well made from mostly bamboo. Bamboo is very cheap and also very available in the region. If compared to tropical hardwoods family, bamboo is pretty inexpensive and can be resistant to the various hazards at the coast. Local people use the bamboo which is planted on the sandy land so they have longer durability. The boats will last for about 5 to 6 years if the owner keeps it in good condition. The boats from other regions last for about 3 o 4 years.

After a decade of making traditional fishing boats, the trade has made his family wealthier. Every month, his family is able to produce about 30 boats which range from 1 to 4 million VND or $50 to $200 depending on the size. Final step in making these boats is that trying to make as waterproof as possible. They are going to collect some cow dung to cover the boat. Mrs. Kieu said that because the cattle’s diet consists mainly grass, the droppings are fibrous matter is I don’t really like the tiny holes in the boat to prevent the water from absorbing inside. Once the cow dung has dried, there are two more layers of waterproofing latex the hole in the bamboo and keep the bamboo dry. A well-made basket boat can be used during 10 years. This process will need to be repeated at least once per year to keep the boat safe.  

“Le Cau Ngu” is a traditional ritual in the Central Coast of Vietnam. The ritual is carried out once per year to pray for good weather and safe sailing for the fishermen of the region. In Da Dia Reef, there are many traditional basket boats as a decoration for this beautiful landscape. Local people here often place their boats on the reef as they can easily carry them when they need to go offshore.

 Local people use a special trap to catch baby lobsters named. The holes are drilled about 10 centimeters on a wooden bar. The size and depth of the hole is crucial as the baby lobsters pretty picky about their hiding spots. If the holes are too big, they will not feel safe and if the holes are too small, they will not get into. The finished trap consists of a net nailed three pieces of prepared wood.  One side of the net is attached to a rope floating on the water. Previously, local people used wood taken from the mountain or coral which seriously affected the environment. Now they don’t do this. Three years ago, they invented this kind of trap, which is good for the environment and able to catch baby lobsters. The bounty of lobsters annually starts from November to April of the coastal Phu Yen, providing income for local fishermen. Each family in the village sets up about hundred traps in their own water. Some have earned as much as100 million VND a day which is $5 thousand catching these lobsters. The baby lobsters freshly caught can be sold for 100 VND. If they are kept in two months, they can be sold for double price.

Cu Mong lagoon is a stunning bay surrounded by mountains, a truly peaceful spot. There are many nets in this lagoon.  Local people here catch fish by a kind of fishing trap, in Vietnamese it is called “bong mo o”. This trap is made by arranging the bamboo thread in an alternate way. This work has existed for a long time. Everybody in this village does this work since their childhood. They could make 5 units per day if they did both weaving and threading the bamboo. But if they only do the threading the bamboo, they can make 7 or 8 units. Here women make the big part and men make the small part or known as the entrance of the fishing trap and go fishing. The entrance is a special and important part of this trap, when the fishes go inside the trap they will get stuck and will not be able to come out.


Source: VTV4 –

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