Over 300 rafts of oysters in the Bắc Luân river estuarine in Trà Cổ ward, Móng Cái city, QuảngNinh province are found dead in the lead up to harvest. Many farmers are at risk of losing billions dong, even bankrupt.
Powerless looking billions cleared out
Around 80 households, living with oyster farming in Tràng Vỹ of TràCổ ward, are desperate with dying barnacles. Barnacles were found dead or shell opened half month ago. Farmers rushed to check and determine the cause to death. So far around 70-80% of oysyer rafts have been cleared out, leaving farmers in such desperation that they let it be without checking or looking for solution.
Farmer Nguyễn Văn Hùng in Tràng Vỹ said “My family invested three rafts for this crop and plan to harvest in July lunar calendar. Oysters started to die a half month ago and the number of dead oysters increased day by day, leaving only 20% of them still survive today”.
Farmers in the region say that early this year after frosty nights and sunny days, oysters were found dead somewhere. This is usually the time when mollusks are dead. Móng Cái has been suffering sunny days without raining.
Hải Hòa and Trà Cổ wards have spent six years culturing oysters. Oysters in Hải Hòa, which is next to Lục Lầm river, are developing as usual. In Trà Cổ, this is the first time oysters have been found dead unknown.
Farmer Chiến (living in group 14 of Tràng Thủy zone, Trà Cổ ward) invested two farming rafts with one being cleared out, making him sell the rest one at low price. It cannot cover the cost of materials and oyster seeds of 200 million dong.
Many households say that most of them bought seeds in Khâm Châu, Phòng Thành, Quảng Tây province of China. The seeds were transported to Móng Cái without receipt or quarantine certificate.
In Bắc Luân river estuary, Trà Cổ and Hải Hòa people have reared oysters in ropes for decades. More 100 households stock in around 300 rafts in Trà Cổ alone. All seeds were bought from China at 6-7 yuan per/rope (equal to 30,000 dong). Farmers invested 200 million dong into each raft averagely, leaving total cost of 450-600 million for raft and seeds.
Death caused by salt water?
Deputy Director of Quảng Ninh provincial Agriculture and Rural Development Department Nguyễn Văn Công said that Fisheries Sub-department and Animal Health Sub-department took samples from oysters, water and mudand sent to Regional Animal Health Office No.2 and Research Institute Aquaculture No.1for testing to find out the cause to massive death.
In their opinion, the death might be caused by the big difference between the temperature in the sunny day and frosty night, making oysters shock and die.
Despite sunny weather in long days in Hải Hòaward, it is located next to Lục Lầm river estuary with fresh water flowing into the farming area and reducing sanitary, which helps oyster adapt the harsh nature.
On the other hand, Trà Cổ is far away the river, plus sunny weather make the sanitary increase in a long time, making oysters shock and reduce their resistance.