Viet Nam

lobsters and shellfish

Xin Chào from Cam Ranh, 

     The Việtnamese people have a long list of wonderful qualities ; mostly attitudinal and behavioural. But there’s one habit which assails the sensibilities. They don’t seem to care about the environment. They are very neat people who spend a lot of time cleaning their neighbourhoods and their own menages, but caring for the wider environment doesn’t seem to be high in the priorities. 

Cam Ranh Bay

  Here in Cam Ranh Bay, the sand is white, the water’s warm, the accommodation’s authentic, the food’s delicious, the weather’s perfect and the hosts are as congenial as you’ll find anywhere. Out in the tranquil bay there are hundreds of lobster lines, tended daily by the fishermen. The lobster cages are tied in the saltwater, and the little lobsters are fed shellfish up to commercial size. It’s aquaculture on a Việtnamese scale. The cages periodically need cleaning, so they are placed on the beach and left there for long periods of time.

lobster boxes Cam Ranh

       The fishing vessels are moving about every day and there is a lot of plastic washed up on the shore. It’s fairly obvious what the source of the rubbish is. The resort and restaurant depend on a clean beach but the fishermen aren’t helping. 

Bãi Xép

   Here in Việt Nam, it seems the beach is perceived as a resource; something for exploitation. The notion that nature created something beautiful doesn’t compute. There’s a population to be fed. As a consequence, the beach is strewn with lobster cages – perhaps two hundred of them here – and the bay is full of buoys and pontoons. The lobster cages measure about two metres x three metres x two metres, so these are not insignificant eyesores.

In Việt Nam, there are lots of beautiful beaches but there’s also a lot of permanent and semi-permanent structures on them – as well as right down to the interface. The beach is not quite so sacred as it is for Australians.

     So, the rubbish piles up and no-one seems to notice. Linda exclaimed, “can’t they see that their livelihoods are inextricably linked to the health of the resource?” Ky works at the resort while her husband works on the shrimp farm in another bay. She can see the problem. “We’ll fix it,” she says.

Resorts will change the behaviour.

It’s probably the resorts – full of foreign tourists – who will lead the way on this change. There’s nothing quite so instructive as a negative TripAdvisor review to galvanise resorts, even if the problem is beyond their making.

 Hẹn gặp lại from Cam Ranh


Other photos from hereabouts

dining on the beach Bãi Xép
Tam Cốc
Kon Tum (Sông Sê San)
Dragon Bridge (Cầu Rồng) at Đà Nãng – Don’t miss this when you are in Việt Nam.
Phú Ninh

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