Hunting crabs out of season, Phu Quoc fishermen still make thousands of dollars every day

Crab production has decreased, and fishermen in Phu Quoc (Kien Giang) have to fish farther from the shore. In return, many fishermen still earn millions every day thanks to the price of crabs.

Crab is one of the specialties of Phu Quoc City, Kien Giang. To get this type of seafood, fishermen have many unique ways of hunting such as setting nets or dropping nets close to the bottom. In particular, casting nets close to the bottom is the preferred method by fishermen because it is easy to do and can be harvested in large quantities. 

Although it is not the main harvest season, these days, fishermen on the coast of Bai Thom commune, about 30km from the center of Phu Quoc city, are still busy hunting for “sea treasures”. 

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Crab fishing in the sea of ​​Phu Quoc (Kien Giang) helps fishermen have a good income (Photo: Bao Ky).

Mr. Tran Minh Quoc (45 years old) – a fisherman with more than 30 years of experience in the seafaring profession, said that casting a crab net, or better known as fishing for crabs, is quite easy to do. The required means is a boat big enough to go out to sea, a net of about 6 nautical miles (equivalent to more than 11km). 

“At 4am, I ran the boat to the sea, the direction was calculated before. There were many crabs in Bai Thom, so we didn’t have to fish far. After releasing the net, and waiting for more than an hour, we collected the net and ran. Go to another place to drop it off until late at night, “said Mr. Quoc. 

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The way of casting crab nets in the sea is quite similar to casting nets in rivers. Each net is more than 10km long, after releasing it, waiting for it to roll and then moving to another area to drop the net, so it is normal for fishermen to travel hundreds of kilometers in a day (Photo: Bao Ky).

According to Mr. Quoc, if on weekdays, he can catch about 5-10kg of crabs, that is the time of bad harvest. In the southern monsoon season, when it rains, it is the time when the crabs get the crop. Every day he catches 40-50kg of crabs is common, if converted into money, the income is over 7 million VND/day. 

High income but living as an “uncle” no one can anticipate unexpected dangers, especially when the crab season is when the sea is no longer calm. 

Fisherman Nguyen Van Nam confided that in the off-season everyone takes advantage of fishing, so they have to go to a further area, sometimes traveling hundreds of kilometers a day, which is both costly and dangerous.

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Phu Quoc green crab has a high economic value that fluctuates around 500,000 VND/kg (Photo: Bao Ky).

“In the middle of the immense sea, heavy rain, strong wind and waves, if the steering wheel is not steady, it is easy to sink. After every trip home, I light incense to thank my grandparents for their blessing to sail safely to sea. “, said Mr. Nam. 

Fishing for crabs, but besides crabs, fishermen also have a lot of other seafood such as mantis shrimp, squid, red snapper, red snapper, rafts, catfish, barracuda… selling 50,000-200,000 VND/kg. This is also a source of income to help fishermen cover fuel costs. 

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Mr. Le Van Chi – Owner of Le Chi seafood barn (Bai Thom commune, Phu Quoc city, Kien Giang) buys several hundred kilograms of crabs every day (Photo: Bao Ky).

Mr. Le Van Chi – Owner of Le Chi seafood purchasing facility in Bai Thom commune said that every day, more than a dozen nearby fishermen come to sell seafood, in which, the output of crabs fluctuates from 100-500kg depending on the season. supply for chain of restaurants, hotels, and supermarkets in Phu Quoc, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi…

“The number of crabs caught is decreasing, so I intend to build a cage to raise the crabs in a way that is both raised and supplied. The crabs are released in cages and sold when they have enough weight,” Mr. Chi said.