Wading to catch conch

QUANG NAM – Wading down the coastal rocks filled with water, after two hours, Ms. Nguyen Thi Hai caught three kilograms of conch, selling for 45,000 VND/kg.

Mrs. Hai, 65 years old, from Tam Quang commune, Nui Thanh district, has been working with snails for more than 40 years. In the past, she was forced to bring them home, wash them, and then boil them or break the shells to remove the intestines and bring them to the market to sell in exchange for rice. For more than 15 years now, tourists come to the east beach, conch has become a specialty, so it is sold at a high price.

This species has a thick, blue shell with white, blue, and black stripes running along spiral veins. The mouth has hard lumps, blue-gray, white, and yellow-orange.

Rocks, corals, and seaweeds in Bai Rang beach emerge when the water dries up.  Photo: Son Thuy
The water is shallow, the rocks, coral, and algae are exposed, so many people come to catch conch. Photo: Son Thuy

Bai Rang beach has white sand, and clear blue water with many wild rapids. Every month from the 1st to the 5th and the 10th to the 16th day of the lunar calendar, the tides are low, revealing a strip of rocks and corals along the shore more than a kilometer long. This place has a variety of sea snails, including conch.

In the late afternoon of the first day of June, Mrs. Hai put on plastic socks and slippers, waded with the packaging in her hand, waded down to the knee-deepest place, looking around for conch. Discovering that the baby was bigger than her thumb clinging to the rock, she used her hand to pick it up and put it in a bag.

“This kind of flood catches the most snails because it’s easy to see, but when it’s deep, it’s very hard to get down,” she explained. At dusk, Mrs. Hai left, and stopped at a restaurant along the beach to sell three kilograms of snails, priced at 45,000 VND/kg. On rainy days, snails come out a lot, Ms. Hai can catch nearly 10 kg.

Mrs. Hai is stooping to collect snails in a rock crevice.  Photo: Son Thuy
Mrs. Hai is stooping to catch a snail in a rock crevice. Photo: Son Thuy

Mrs. Hanh, 50 years old, from Tam Quang commune, catches snails again at dusk. The sea level has not yet risen, so she used a flashlight on her head. At 8 pm, the water flooded the rocky beach, she finished the job with the result of 5 kg of snails, earning nearly 250,000 VND.

Catching conch does not have to invest much, each person only buys thick socks and slippers to avoid being stabbed by sharp objects. However, due to frequent contact with water, his hands were white and bleeding from the coral.

“Catch snails have to bend over, so their back is often tired. To catch a lot, you must have good health and good eyesight,” said Ms. Hanh. Many children were lying in the rock and coral nooks, and she used an iron rod to poke them out. Every time the water dries up, nearly 100 people come to catch snails along the beach.

Four conch.  Photo: Son Thuy
Four conch. Photo: Son Thuy

Mrs. Van, the owner of a seafood restaurant on Bai Rang beach, said that everyday people catch as much as they can buy it. Conch is bought, washed and raised, mainly boiled with ginger sauce or grilled.

The conch, also known as the conch, the moon, and the pearl eye, has the scientific name Turbinidae . Snails often live alone on rocks, and corals, eat seaweed species.

(According to vnexpress)

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