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Carrying hired fish on Long Hai sea

BA RIA – VUNG TAU Every morning, nearly 100 people pull carts, shoulder to shoulder to the sea waiting for the boat to load fish ashore, earning 500,000 VND per ton.

Mr. Nguyen Thanh Hoa’s boat from Long Hai town returned from a 4-hour sailing trip. Anchored nearly 200 meters from the shore, two workers leveling nets brought to shore for 6 people to remove fish. This trip brought back nearly a ton of fish, with the selling price of 14,000 VND per kg, Mr. Hoa was divided more than 3 million VND, the boat friends nearly one million VND per person.

Mr. Hoa’s group of friends rowed a basket boat carrying fish to shore. Herring season on Long Hai sea starts from July last year, lasts until April next year. At dawn every day, dozens of boats cast their nets in waters more than 10 nautical miles (about 18 km) from shore.

When the basket boat reaches the water’s edge, the work is transferred to the hired fishing group. They came to the beach early in the morning with a homemade car to pull baskets of fresh fish to the beach more than 150 meters away.

Mr. Tran Van Thanh (right corner), 53 years old, and everyone pushed the fishing cart to the shore. His group has 9 people, carrying fish for more than 20 years. On Long Hai beach, there are more than 10 groups doing the same job.

“Each group carries fish for 3-4 boats. The salary is 500,000 VND per ton of fish paid by traders. When the boat wins, we will earn 400,000-500,000 VND. Usually 150,000-200,000 VND, sometimes only a few. ten,” said Mr. Thanh.

The fish is poured onto the canvas, everyone sits around sorting. “At the end of the season, herring gets mixed up with other fish, so it has to be selected. The rest of the months are just weighed and carried ashore,” said Ms. Nguyen Thi Hoa (black hat, left corner).

Two young men poured fish into a plastic basket. Men are usually in charge of weighing, pulling carts, carrying fish ashore. Women do lighter jobs, but wages are divided equally.

Mr. Minh carried two baskets of 50 kg fish from the beach to the shore in front of Dinh Co temple. “There are days when carrying one or two tons of fish running on the sand, quite tired feet. When walking requires rhythm, flexibility so that the fish does not fall, just fast for traders to carry, if slow, the fish will go rotten,” said Mr. Minh. .

With the last remaining baskets of fish, the four women together carried them from the beach to the gathering point.

Carrying 100 kg of fish, Ms. Ha Thi Nam was given a voucher by the fish driver to calculate wages to the trader when the job was over.

After she and her colleagues loaded more than 1.5 tons of fish on two boats, Ms. Tran Thi Xuan, 50, rested, eating boiled peanuts and sugar cane while waiting for the last boat to dock.

“I’m old and companies don’t accept jobs, so I choose this job in my spare time, but this job is very difficult and precarious,” said Ms. Xuan.

A small amount of herring in Long Hai is sold by traders to restaurants for salad making, grilling, and soup cooking. The rest is taken to fillets, dried… for export.

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