Raise lobsters or develop tourism: Phu Yen dilemma
VietNamNet Bridge - Residents in the central province of Phu Yen are trying to decide whether to develop lobster farming or tourism.


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At a meeting of the Phu Yen provincial People’s Council on September 21, the province’s chair Hoang Van Tra asked for the withdrawal of the plan to develop aquaculture in the locality by 2025.

“If we draw up the aquaculture development plan now, it will lead to conflicts between the plan to develop aquaculture and the plan to develop tourism,” Tra explained.

The aquaculture development plan conflicts with the plan to develop the Xuan Dai Bay national tourism area which is awaiting the PM’s approval. 

Nguyen Tri Phuong, deputy director of Phu Yen agriculture department, which drafted the aquaculture development plan, affirmed that planning is necessary in order to develop local aquaculture in a sustainable way. 

He emphasized that the plan to develop aquaculture stems from the overall plan drafted by the Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development (MARD) which says Phu Yen is the ‘metropolis’ of lobster farming and Song Cau Town the key development area.

However, the aquaculture development plan conflicts with the plan to develop the Xuan Dai Bay national tourism area which is awaiting the PM’s approval. Both the aquaculture and tourism development plans will use the 155 hectares of surface water in Xuan Dai Bay of Song Cau Town.

Pham Van Bay, deputy director of the Phu Yen Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, confirmed that in 2010, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism drew up the plan to develop Xuan Dai Bay, a beautiful landscape in the south central coastal area, into a national tourism area.

However, the unplanned and scattered lobster farming in the locality in the last few years has had adverse effects on the landscapes of Xuan Dai.

Vo Minh Thuc, vice chair of Phu Yen People’s Council, said tourists would not visit land polluted by shrimp farming.

“The farming has caused serious pollution at the bottom of Xuan Dai Bay. There are 27,000 lobster cages, but the figure will be higher in the future,” he said.

In May 2017, Phu Yen people saw mass lobster deaths on Xuan Dai Bay and provincial authorities had to spend VND5 billion to help ease farmers’ losses. 

“The pollution is getting alarming. It is impossible to develop tourism in such conditions. We are spoiling the beautiful landscapes,” Thuc said, adding that tourism profits would be much higher.

In the latest news, 6,400 lobster cages in Vung Ro in Hoa Xuan Nam commune in Dong Hoa district must be removed to make room for tourism development projects.


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Mai Thanh

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