Reviving many endangered fish species

11 August, 2013

Many species of rare fish which were very expensive several year ago have appeared at popular markets thanks to artificial breeding.

The front gate of a company that runs a big hydro-power plant on the Sre Pork River on Hung Vuong road, Buon Ma Thuot city, Dak Lak province, recently appeared a small board, offering for sale fresh hemibagrus for VND140,000 per kilo.

Hemibagrus is a delicious fish species with sweet white meat from the upstream to downstream of the Mekong River, with nearly a dozen different species. Their sizes range from several hectograms to tens of kilos.

The years after the country’s unification (1975), fishermen living around the Mekong downstream tributaries, including the Sre Pork River, caught hemibagrus by every way, even with explosives. At that time they could easily catch the fish because the density of hemibagrus was thick.

Yet, that way of fishing, which took place for decades, has destroyed hemibagrus. Hemibagrus was almost extinct. The price for a kilo of hemibagrus soared to tens of US dollars but it was difficult to buy it. This period lasted until hemibagrus was successfully artificially bred.

Mr. Tuan, the owner of the largest hemibagrus farm on Ea Kao Lake in Buon Me Thuot city said: “Several years ago, my wife and I purchased hemibagrus artificially bred in the reservoirs of Dau Tieng and Tri An for sales in the Highlands, where the river hemibagrus was nearly extinct. Later, I learned hemibagrus farming techniques and hired this lake to open this farm. I’ve opened a breeding fish farm in HCM City. Every year I earn billion dong of profit from the farms.”

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