Massive blight leaves oysters in major debt
  • By Lan Anh | | January 21, 2012 12:01 PM

Hundreds of hectares of farmed oysters in Thanh Hoa Province died of unknown causes, leading to major losses for local farmers.

The blight has affected the communes of Hai Loc, Minh Loc and Da Loc in Hau Loc District and Hoang Hoa District for nearly two months.

Farmers in Thanh Hoa are worried about the massive wave of oyster deaths

Locals are collecting swathes of dead oysters on Hau Loc and Hoang Hoa district beaches.

Pham Van Khuong, a resident from Da Phan Village, Da Loc Commune, said, “My family have raised oysters for four years. Annually, we see good crops. This year, we took a loan of more than VND500 million (USD23,800) from the banks to invest in the oyster field, however, they’ve all died and we’re facing huge losses. We don’t know how we’ll be able to pay the loan.

“According to local farmers, oysters often die from lunar March, never when Tet is nearing, we’re extremely concerned,” Khuong noted.

Pham Van Hai in Hai Loc Commune also faces the same situation, having invested VND900 million (USD42,800) in oyster farming.

Hai Loc Commune has the biggest oyster breeding area in Hau Loc District. Many people are struggling to cope with huge loans following the crop failure.

“My family had to hire dozens of workers to collect the dead oyster, costing millions of VND. We have more than one hectare of oysters, but over half of them died and the situation seems to be wide spread,” Nguyen Dinh thuan from Minh Duc Village, Minh Loc Commune said.

Oyster breeders in Hau Loc District are estimated to have lost more than VND20 billion (USD952,380) to date.

Nguyen Ngoc Toan, Deputy Head of Hau Loc District’s Department of Agriculture, said the department had sent dead oyster samples for testing, but the cause has not yet been determined so far.

He said the rate of death oyster in the district is just 20%, however, according to a Dantri/DTiNews investigation, the rate has reached up to 50% and the situation is tending to worsen.

Vu Huy Dang, Chairman of Minh Loc Commune, said, “The commune has 68ha of oyster farming, but many households have seen half of their area die. According to my experience, it’s the water source or toxic algae are what led to such a massive blight. We’ll propose that the banks and state to extend the deadline for loan payments for farmers and continue offering loans.”

The crop failure has caused major losses for local farmers

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