Southern mountainous region: Make big money from fish cage farming

A conclusion which is made after an initial workshop of expansion of fish cage farming says the model meets food safety. The workshop is carried out by Điện Biên Agriculture and Rural Development Department and National Agricultural Extension Center to access the efficiency and exchange experiences in high economic value fishes.

Increase in cages

National Agricultural Extension Center (NAEC)started to develop a project of sturgeon, crystal eyed catfish, and red tilapia farming in cages for food safety assurance in some provinces in the southern mountainous region in 2017. The project was to enhance farmers’ awareness of aquaculture and take use of ponds and lakes to develop high economic value fishes.

In 2018, the project was conducted in seven provinces with seven demonstration models (two of sturgeon farming, two of red tilapia farming and two of crystal eyed catfish farming in 1,400m3 totally).

In the fact, fishes have been weighing up very well to 1 – 1.2 kg/pc. Red tilapias weigh up to 0.6-0.7 kg/pc and crystal eyed catfish 1.5 – 1.8 kg/pc with survival rate of 80%.

According to Vice Director of NAEC Kim Văn Tiêu, fish cage farming located in the lakes of southern mountainous provinces is very potential, especial with crystal eyed catfish, trout, and red-tilapia.

Fish cages consecutively increase in years with 3,100 cages in 2012 to 20,000 ones of 50 – 120 m3 each at present. Farmed seafood in this region meet safety requirements for local consumption and export, creating more jobs for local residents and helping eliminate poverty and improve sustainable environment.

Điện Biên is considered one of the most potential provinces of aquaculture having surface areas of more than 2,326 ha and producing averagely 2,600 tons of seafood each year. Vice Director of Điện Biên Agricultural Extension Center Đinh Thị Thu Hà says it has over 100 cages with 7.000 m3, mainly in Mường Thanh, Điện Biên, Tủa Chùa districts and Mường Lay town.

Local people and co-operatives invest into strong cages, well-organized facilities and advanced equipment.

Find buyers

Talking about fish farming in cages in Pe Luông lake, Phạm Khang (in Unit 1, Thanh Luông commune, Điện Biên district) said he has studied fish farming in cages and tried red tilapia and unisexual tilapia for three years. The latter is more favorite because red tilapia is more expensive (around 80,000 dong/kg) and local people’s habit of consuming unisexual tilapia.

He participated into the project farming sturgeon and hemibagrus. He strictly follow experts’ instructions and his fish are weighing up to 1.2 – 1.8 kg/pc with survival rate of over 80%. He is looking for buyers and plans to work with traders in the lowland and some in the province.

During the workshop, specialists from Technology Science and Environment Division under National Agricultural Extension Center shared solutions to improve efficiency and quality of cage farmed fishes for food safety assurance, management experiences, some popular diseases and cure, efficiency of link chain system, and some advanced techniques in producing young fish and rearing commercial fishes in cages.


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