Diving and catching lobsters


QUANG NAM – Many people in Tam Hai island commune, Nui Thanh district hold air tubes and dive 6-10 m deep to catch baby lobsters in caves on calm and clear sea days.

In early February, dozens of boats gathered around Ban Than rock rapids, Tam Hai island commune, Nui Thanh district to catch lobster seed for sale. The seabed in this area has corals, rocky beaches, and many lobsters. Each small wooden boat has 2-5 people, working from 7am to 6pm every day.

This profession depends on the water, can only do on clear sea days. In addition to day diving, divers can also dive at night.

Mr. Ngo Van Xu, 62 years old, Thuan An hamlet, Tam Hai commune and his son drove a boat with a capacity of 20 CV to the north of Ban Than rock rapids. The boat was fixed more than 100 m from the shore, he prepared his tools to start a day of living.

According to Mr. Xu, catching lobster seed from the 10th lunar month lasts until the end of January next year. At this time, young shrimp live near the shore, so they can be caught, after they grow up, they stop.

Mr. Xu’s son, Mr. Ngo Van Dau, 31 years old, wears a specialized diving suit, carrying two lead lines, one weighing 7 kg tied around his abdomen and the other weighing 3 kg worn on his shoulders. “Underwater is under great pressure, facing many risks, many fishermen say that diving and catching baby lobsters is a gamble with their lives,” Dau said, adding that making a living on the seabed was too hard and dangerous. Some people have died because of diving to hunt lobsters.

Diving goggles are indispensable tools for divers. Glasses must be sealed to prevent water from entering the eyes and to help workers see clearly objects on the river bottom. Lobster diving requires hard work and good health because you have to dive in the deep water.

After fully equipped, Dau jumped into the sea, sank and disappeared, only seeing the gas pipeline bobbing on the sea surface and air bubbles blowing up.

On the boat, Mr. Xu had just released the air pipe in the direction of the diving, his eyes did not leave the coil of gas nearly 200 m long. Each dive usually lasts about 2 hours, the depth is 6-10 m, when you catch a lot of shrimp, you go up earlier.

Also practicing lobster catching, Mr. Nguyen Van Nhat, Thuan An village, Tam Hai commune is equipped with a suit of frogmen, wearing diving goggles, diving into the water with a mouthpiece. He said, lobsters live in caves a few centimeters deep. To catch shrimp, he pulls them out with a beard, or uses an iron toothpick to chase them out of the cave and then use his hand to catch them.

Divers are in the water, there is always a person operating the machine above, dropping, pulling the hose and handling when there is a problem.

Caught a lobster, divers put it in a plastic bottle containing water.

At 12 o’clock, Mr. and Mr. Xu stopped working to have lunch. They sat on the back of the boat, covering the top with a tarp to avoid the sun. After a 30-minute rest, the two continued working until 4 p.m. then returned to shore.

When the boat docked, the father and son brought home 22 seed lobsters. Traders then come to buy the first type at 55,000 VND or the second type at 80,000 VND each. Mr. Xu earned VND 1,350,000, minus the cost of VND 200,000 for petrol, leaving more than VND 1 million.($1=24,000 VND)

Ms. Le Thi Lien, a trader who buys seed lobsters, said she buys several hundred of them every day in the island commune. Shrimps are brought back to feed the number of thousands of shrimp, then imported into Quang Ngai, Phu Yen, and Khanh Hoa provinces to sell to farming households.

Tam Hai island commune has about 7,000 people, in 7 villages. This place has the scenic beauty of Ban Thanh rock rapids and Hon Mang island, unspoiled Pineapple island. Surrounded by a diverse ecosystem of corals and natural rocks, attracting many types of seafood to live.

The Chairman of the island commune Nguyen Tan Hung said that the locality has more than 200 households exploiting lobster seed. Every year, the government bans fishing from early April to July. “Lobster fishing is a godsend, but it gives a significant income,” he said, adding that when the lobster breeding season ends, people will switch to fishing.

 ( According to vnexpress )