Quảng Ninh: Vân Đồn completely erase styrofoam buoys in aquaculture

For sustainable aquaculture and environment protection, Vân Đồn district is determined to completely erase styrofoam buoys before April 30, 2023.

Aquaculture farmers in Bản Sen commune of Vân Đồn district, Quảng Ninh province are using traditional materials such as styrofoam buoys, bamboo, and wood. Even though the foam buoys work well, their longevity is just 2-3 years.

When using styrofoam buoys and wooden cages/rafts, farmers usually suffer from a serious loss after every storm and heavy rain. Besides, styrofoam buoys are damaged and drift to the ocean, causing environmental pollution.

Not only do they work well on the surface water, HDPE floating material and cages, which can be used within 30-50 years, are firm and well adaptive to climate change, huge waves and terrible wind. Besides, HDPE floating material is strong and safe from ocean water. 

Bản Sen has 890 aquaculture households, 70% of which are using styrofoam buoys. The People’s Committee of Bản Sen commune has encouraged some affordable households to convert to HDPE materials first, and then will advise the rest to use so that 100% of the local farmers will use floating materials as regulated. Within three years, 2019-2022, as many as 160,250 styrofoam buoys were uninstalled in Bản Sen and up to 113,272 HDPE floats were put into use by September 2022.

Despite agreeing that such replacement can eliminate damages caused by natural disasters, they had to spend twice as much on HDPE materials as compared to traditional wooden cages. The initial investment is huge, resulting in difficulties faced by marine culture farmers without support from the Government and businesses.

The authority of Vân Đồn said that they checked more frequently, requested households not to buy styrofoam buoys to use in aquaculture and strictly punished violations. By the end of 2022, as many as 959 facilities were instructed to convert floating materials used in aquaculture. There are 607 households using foam buoys, thus about another 700,000 styrofoam buoys must be converted. The district plans to erase all foam buoys by April 30, 2023.


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