“A Tragic Loss: 60 Tons of Lobster Perish in Phu Yen, Devastated Farmers Sell at Distress Price of 50,000 VND per Kilogram”

In just 3 days, over 60 tons of spiny lobster in Song Cau Town, Phu Yen, met their demise. This unexpected catastrophe left farmers scrambling to salvage their losses, forced to sell their catch at a pittance, with prices plummeting to a mere 30,000-50,000 VND per kilogram.

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Video: Mass lobster deaths in Phu Yen, Vietnam, leave farmers devastated

On May 20th, in Vinh Hoa village, Xuan Thinh commune, Song Cau town, Phu Yen province, many lobster farmers were saddened as they collected the dead lobsters from their cages and brought them to shore to sell to traders.

According to statistics from the People’s Committee of Xuan Thinh commune, in just 3 days, from May 18th to 20th (up to 1 pm on May 20th), 61.39 tons of green lobsters from 160 farming households died, and this number is still rising.

Nguyen Thi Thuong, a 49-year-old farmer from Vinh Hoa village, was in tears. In just 3 days, her family lost nearly VND 500 million. That was the money the family had to borrow by mortgaging their assets to invest in 20 lobster cages.

According to Ms. Thuong, the traders only bought the rotten-headed small lobsters at a price of VND 30,000-50,000/kg. “If we’re lucky to discover the dead lobsters early, the larger ones, 2-3 per kg, can be sold for VND 300,000 – 400,000/kg,” said Ms. Thuong.

Sitting on the ground waiting to sell the dead lobsters, Chau Thanh Thien Ly (52 years old, from Vinh Hoa village) had no more tears to cry. In just one night, her family lost VND 4 billion due to the lobster deaths.

Ms. Ly’s family raised more than 10,000 green lobsters. “There was only about one more month left before the lobsters could be sold, and now this has happened. We’re ruined. We have 3 children in college; what are we going to do now?” Ms. Ly choked up.

According to the farmers, for larger lobsters that have just died, traders will buy them at a price of VND 300,000 – 400,000/kg (this price is only 1/3 – 1/4 of the price of live lobsters). For smaller lobsters, the purchase price is only from VND 30,000 – 50,000/kg.

According to statistics from the People’s Committee of Xuan Thinh commune, in addition to lobsters, nearly 30 tons of various marine fish also died.

The dead fish floated on the sea surface in Xuan Thinh commune. According to the Phu Yen Fisheries Sub-Department, the initial cause of the mass deaths of lobsters and fish was the hot weather combined with thunderstorms in recent days, which led to changes in the water environment.

The most affected farming areas were in Xuan Thinh and Xuan Phuong communes of Song Cau town.

Mr. Le Tan Ho, Vice Chairman of the Phu Yen People’s Committee, requested the Fisheries Department and Song Cau town to urgently find the cause of the mass deaths of lobsters and fish. At the same time, the local authorities guided the farmers to collect and dispose of the dead aquatic products to avoid widespread pollution.