Quảng Bình The billion-dong oyster rafts at Gianh river

On both banks of the Gianh river, countless bamboo rafts stretch across the water surface, housing oyster farms suspended from ropes worth millions of dollars.

In the middle of last year, Trần Quốc Trong and his wife (residing in Quảng Thuận Ward, Ba Đồn, Quảng Bình) invested in nearly 1.3 ha of oyster farms suspended from ropes at the estuary the Gianh River.

In previous years, during low tide, local residents would harvest oysters clinging to the rocks along the shore to sell. However, due to increasing exploitation, the oyster population gradually decreased. Trong decided to farm oysters to proactively supply the market. After multiple trips up and down the country to learn from others’ experiences, Trong began to farm Atlantic oysters.

“Atlantic oysters are raised for about 3 months, and if all goes well, the income is quite stable. However, sometimes we almost incurred losses due to unfavorable weather or flooding before harvest. Many families in the area also tried farming but gave up after a few attempts,” Trong revealed.

Thanks to a friend who had worked for many oyster farmers and shared his experience, Trong shifted to farming suspended oysters. By mid-2023, Trong and his wife began farming suspended oysters at Gianh River. By the end of 2023, the oysters grew well, with a survival rate of nearly 100%. The couple and six other households contributed capital to expand the scale to 8 rafts, covering nearly 1.3 hectares. 

On the river’s surface, the oyster rafts are made from multiple bamboo poles, with large styrofoam boxes interspersed and wrapped in nylon to float on the water surface. They are anchored in place by several posts driven into the riverbed. The rafts are designed to be pulled to sheltered areas when large floods occur. The oyster seedlings are sourced from breeding facilities in the coastal areas of Quảng Ninh Province.

When seeding, each raft typically holds about 10,000 ropes. Oysters feed on plankton from the water, and they can be harvested after 7-8 months of growth. They can be raised longer to increase their size, but not beyond 36 months. Each oyster raft, including the seedlings, costs about 350 million VND.

According to Trong, while Atlantic oysters often fall off due to floods, the ocean oysters farmed on suspended rafts in the Gianh estuary have thrived during last year’s flooding season. Just some died due to salt foggy weather. Trong estimates that each mature oyster rope, weighing between 10-15kg, can yield about 30-40 oysters for sale. Each raft is expected to produce 100 tons, and orders have already been placed by traders.

​​Once the oysters are ready for harvest, traders will come to purchase directly from the rafts and pack them for export, but at a lower price, around 15-20,000 VND/kg. “If sold directly to domestic traders for local market consumption, the price can be higher, around 30-35,000 VND/kg. Currently, the first batch of oyster farms has exceeded 6 months, with uniformly grown oysters, and we are preparing for the upcoming harvest,” added Trong.

Nguyễn Văn Khánh, Head of the Economic Department of Ba Đồn town, stated, “Local authorities and relevant departments have proactively provided guidance to residents on regulations regarding the use of water surfaces for aquaculture, ensuring ecological environment and inland waterway safety… At the same time, procedures for providing financial support to farmers have been improved.”


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