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Mui Ne fisherman enjoys the mackerel season

BINH THUAN – Every day, fishermen in Mui Ne fishing village (Phan Thiet City) go out to sea over ten nautical miles from the shore to catch mackerel, each earning 10-20 kg.

After Tet until now, around 4 pm every day, Thach Long fishing wharf in Mui Ne ward is more crowded than usual. Dozens of fishing boats come ashore to sell seafood caught in the day. Most at the wharf are mackerel fishing boats.

Mr. Dinh Quoc Vui, 47 years old, a local fisherman, just landed his boat on the front beach. Due to the shallow water, the boat could not get close to the shore. Mr. Vui had to use a basket boat to bring the mackerel he had caught to the sand and sell it to the owners of the seafood barn.

Mui Ne fisherman enjoys the mackerel season
Mr. Dinh Quoc Vui brought a mackerel weighing more than ten kilograms from the boat to the shore. Photo: Viet Quoc

On this sea trip, Mr. Vui hit three large mackerel, weighing 4, 8 and 11 kg, respectively. More than 20 kg of mackerel, he sells at the wharf for 200,000 VND per kg. “Total more than 4 million, minus the cost of oil to run the boat, today’s income is about 3.5 million,” said Mr. Vui excitedly.($1=24,000 VND)

According to Mr. Vui, this year after Tet, Mui Ne sea has many mackerel. From mid-January until now, he and more than a dozen people in the neighborhood go fishing every day. Around 4 am, they depart from Mui Ne wharf to go to sea 10-20 nautical miles from the shore, where the deep waters of mackerel often live.

To catch mackerel, local fishermen use flat-backed fish as bait. Fish over 20 cm long are hooked to a double hook, one in front of the head, the other under the belly. The angler throws the bait down, releases the line more than 30 m long, then lets the boat run at a moderate speed. The mackerel saw the bait moving, chased it and took it.

After being hooked, the mackerel was pulled by Mr. Vui near the side of the boat, lifted it up with a steel pole, and put it in the barrel. Quickly putting new bait on his tongue, the man continued to drop into the water, running the boat to lure other mackerel.

Fisherman Phan A Khac Don uses a basket boat to bring mackerel to the shore and sell it to the seafood barn. Photo: Viet Quoc

Mr. Phan A Khac Don, 31 years old, fisherman in Mui Ne ward, also caught three mackerel, totaling more than 15 kg. Excluding expenses, he collected about 2.5 million VND. According to him, fishing boats running and dropping bait often catch big mackerel, but the cost of a trip is about 500,000 VND to buy oil. Therefore, fishermen have to fish for mackerel weighing tens of kilograms or more to earn income.

Mui Ne fishing village has about 20 people fishing for mackerel. Fishermen go to the sea in the morning, come to the shore to sell fish in the afternoon. In the high fish season, a person can catch 10-20 kg of mackerel per day. “Every day, we can catch quite a bit, except for a few days when it’s too windy, we don’t dare to go because the waves will overturn the boat,” Mr. Don said.

Compared to other occupations, the fishing profession is quite difficult because the fishermen have to constantly control the boat. They get up early from the time the sun has not risen to go fishing, only to come ashore in the afternoon. On average, a day, fishermen have to run the boat for 12 hours, so it requires the angler to have good health. In return, the mackerel when fishing is sold at a high price, helping to stabilize the life of the fishing villagers.

Ms. Le Thi Hai, who specializes in buying seafood at Mui Ne wharf, said that the mackerel caught in the day was fresh and welcomed by many seafood traders. Every day, she buys a ton of mackerel, all of which are sold out. Currently, whole mackerel at the wharf costs 200-250 thousand VND per kg, retail at the market for 300 thousand VND per kg.

Ms. Le Thi Hai (right) buys mackerel caught on Mui Ne wharf, Phan Thiet city, on the afternoon of February 14. Photo: Viet Quoc

After purchasing, in addition to selling whole fish to customers in Saigon and other provinces, the seafood stalls also slice mackerel, dry it in the sun, and retail it to locals, tourists and restaurants in Phan Thiet.

Photo: Internet (

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