A lobster farm in Nha Trang City in the central province of Khanh Hoa (Photo: VNA)

Khanh Hoa (VNA) - Many fishermen in the central province of Khanh Hoa are becoming prosperous by catching and selling young lobsters to breeding farms.

Nguyen Van Nam, 37, who catches them 400m off shore, said he earns 700,000-800,000 VND (32-36 USD) a night and sometimes up to 5 million VND (227 USD), and is planning to rebuild his dilapidated house.

He switched to catching young lobster in 2013 after fishing offshore for more than 10 years and struggling to earn enough.

Within a year he was able to repay a 100 million VND (4,500 USD) loan he had taken to buy tools for catching the lobsters.

The young crustaceans fetch around 250,000 VND (11 USD) a kilo.

Vinh Luong in Khanh Hoa’s Nha Trang City was one of the country’s first fishing villages to catch young lobsters. Some 40 percent of fishermen in the village earn their livelihoods from catching the lobsters.

The waters off Vinh Luong have optimum conditions for lobsters to live and reproduce since it is near straits and lagoons.

Lobster farming has been growing in the central region, especially in south-central provinces, for more than 15 years.

In Khanh Hoa, more than 23,300 lobster cages are farmed each year, accounting for 40 percent of the country’s total, according to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

But the juveniles caught at sea can only meet 30 percent of the farms’ needs, and they have to buy them from other provinces and even countries.

Young lobsters have to be caught at sea since the crustacean does not spawn in captivity.

Under a Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development plan through 2020, lobster farming will be a key economic activity in the central region.

It targets increasing the farming area to around 1 million cubic meters and the output to 1,940 tonnes by 2020.

Tropical rock lobsters and scalloped spiny lobsters are the major varieties of lobsters farmed in the country.-VNA