Vietnam’s Long Son Marine Fish Culture Holds the Keys to Improvement

Vũng Tàu, a seaside city located on a peninsula in southern Vietnam, plays a significant role in Vietnam's offshore oil industry.
Black tiger shrimp culture is another crucial industry in Vũng Tàu with a production of 1400 hectares (ha) or 260 metric tons (MT) as of October 2014, although marine fish culture is a fast-growing sector with 500 MT of production during the same period.

A picture taken from the Gò Găng bridge shows the new area for marine fish culture with better attention to water quality
A picture taken from the Gò Găng bridge shows the new area for marine fish culture with better attention to water quality

The Long Son islet, located in Vũng Tàu, has about 100 farming households.  The marine cage culture area is an 81 ha estuary located between two islands (Gò Găng and Long Son).  About 24 percent of the area is reserved for large-scale marine fish culture.
The Taiwanese initiated marine fish cage culture during the 2000s with large cage farms.  In 2006, Typhoon Durian destroyed all cages in this area.  Taiwanese companies were forced to close production due to bankruptcy and returned to their home country.
Today, many Taiwanese have returned to farm marine fish here.  Local Vietnamese farmers have also expanded the marine fish culture as they learn from the Taiwanese.
Although Long Son farmers complained about the water pollution by wasted water from fish processing and food plants from upstream, they continued to buy fish head by-products from fish processing plants.  Indeed, the feed at almost marine fish farms in Long Son is based on trash fish and fish heads from the processing plant with the use of pellet commercial feed in the minority.  Some farmers even use fresh water fish pellet feed to complement their marine fishes’ diet.
Vũng Tàu authorities recently set up a new area with strict rules on water quality and environmental issues.  This area is considered to be a good example for farmers to experience raising fish in better environment conditions.
In addition to local government efforts, technical training needs are key to the growth of marine fish culture.  Farmers need to look at long term and sustainable development through the usage of complete feed, proper cage settings, and feeding, among other needs.  Local farmers will also need to consider how the market drives their needs.  Currently, the price of marine fish is not attracting farmers to invest.  However, knowing where their fish will be consumed will help them to better design their production in order to make a better profit.