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Hunting products in the late flood season in the West

This year’s flood season is late and small, people in the upstream areas of Dong Thap and Long An are still busy spreading nets, harvesting … to make a living day by day.

Around the beginning of September, water from the Tien River, along canal 17 (Long Phu Thuan islet, Hong Ngu district), spilled into the fields along the border, hundreds of hectares wide…

The water cycle in the field this year is one month later than before. According to the Dong Thap Hydro-meteorological Station, the flood water level in the province is 0.1 to 0.2 m lower than that of 2020 and 0.4 to 1.3 m lower than the annual average.

When the water “jumps” from the shore, it is time for people to live by the profession of “aunt and uncle” – catching with the water – with many fishing tools such as casting, casting nets, laying stilts, roofing, swarming, and luring eels by incubating corpses. plant…

Ms. Nguyen Thi Khen (48 years old) is next to a small hut on canal 17, 20 km from her house. For the past 4 years, this is the place where she and her husband live temporarily during the flood season. Every night, they go to the river (a type of fishing gear popular in the West) to catch fish and crabs. After 2 months of “following the country”, they earn about 20 million VND, enough to support the whole family. At the end of the season, the couple returned home and continued to go to the river to catch fish.

From dawn to 7:00 a.m., Mr. Thai (left) and Mr. Thang waded together to shovel eggs, tiny crustaceans used as food for fingerlings. Fishing gear made of cloth, sewn into a bag about 10 m long. They kept pulling bags, walking across the field. With the selling price of 4,000 VND per kg, on average, they can earn 200,000 to 300,000 VND depending on the number of eggs ordered by traders.

A family makes a living on a flooded field in the border district of Hong Ngu. The men supported the boats and pulled the nets, the women picked fish, and the children leisurely played in the water.

On the morning of November 13, Mr. and Mrs. Nguyen Van Doan in Truong Xuan (Thap Muoi district) poured 20 worms but only caught a few kilograms of small fish, crabs, and shrimp.

“I haven’t seen any year where the water is as low as this year. There is no fish to be sold to people to brew fish sauce, I just choose to sell shrimp for 50,000 VND per kilogram, the rest is for ducks to eat,” said Mr. Doan.

The water “replenishes” alluvium for the field, the plants that grow naturally in Thap Muoi district, Dong Thap province are greener. Here, the rice is harvested to incubate the palanquin root, helping many local people have an extra income (about 200,000 VND) per day.

Mr. Nguyen Van Den, from Phu Hiep commune, Tam Nong district, along with 17 other people in the hamlet, cut their prayers from 4 a.m. to noon. When they receive wages, they will divide them equally. “This job is extremely hard because it is soaked in water all the time, a few days when it’s cold, I still have cramps in my limbs,” said Mr. Den.

Next to Dong Thap, people in Tan Lap commune (Moc Hoa district, Long An) remove their fishing nets. This year, the small floods came back late, with an average of 1,000 m of the net each day, only 2 to 3 kg of fish could be obtained, a quarter of that in the years of big floods.

The village here has more than 10 roofs. They are people from An Giang and Dong Thap provinces who have lived temporarily for nearly 10 years, making a living by fishing, netting, and roofing crabs, frogs, shrimps, and worms.

Mr. Tran Van Thanh (63 years old, from Dong Thap province) has been coming to Long An for nearly 10 years to cover the huts and work as a crab roofer. In the previous years, each flood season, Mr. Thanh placed about 500 roofs, earning nearly 10 kg of crabs every day, earning 400,000-500,000 VND. This year, the small flood came home late, along with the disease, they couldn’t leave the house, and the roof was damaged a lot. Every day, Mr. Thanh runs a shell (specialized boat in the West) to order 30 roofs and earn 3-4 kg of crabs. One day the merchant did not come to buy, he had to feed the neighbors.

Mr. Tong Van Thi (49 years old, Tan Lap commune, Moc Hoa) has 40 frog roofs. Every day, around 5 pm he went to order until 5 am the next day, he received from 2 to 3 kg. With the price from 50,000 to 65,000 VND, he earns about 200,000 – 300,000 VND per day.

Along the fields in the wet season these days, it is easy to see “toad” markets selling Western products such as snails and snails on provincial road DT 844 for 50,000 to 70,000 VND per kg.

In mid-November, the fields begin to draw water to prepare for winter-spring rice sowing, which is also the time to signal the end of the floating season. Large or small floods, for Westerners, is also peaceful season, resting after three months of the rice season.

Floating water season is one of the typical features in the Mekong Delta, usually starting from July to October of the lunar calendar, ie August to November of the solar calendar. Water from the Mekong River then follows the Tien River and the Hau River, overflowing into the fields. In the flood season, it builds up alluvium in the fields, eliminates weeds, mice, etc. Water also brings back products such as fish, crabs, eels, snakes, water lilies, cotton buds… In recent years, The water season is often delayed by more than a month, due to the retention of hydroelectric dams in the upper Mekong River.

Master Nguyen Huu Thien, an independent expert on the ecology of the Mekong Delta, the yearly rainfall in the basin is lower than the average level for many years, which has a great impact on the water level of the Mekong River. Low water availability has much to do with wild fisheries due to lack of breeding grounds, as well as agricultural impacts in some parts of the basin. Follow vnexpress

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