Residents of the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta are working hard to reap full benefits of the annual flooding season which brings in fertile silt, plenty of fish and other marine creatures.

Water levels in the Delta's upstream areas are 40-70cm higher than the same period of last year, according to hydro-meteorological forecasting centres in provinces upstream the Mekong River.

In An Giang, which is one of the Delta's hardest flood-hit provinces every year, farmers have begun to catch fish and shrimp from inundated paddy fields.

Paddy fields in Dong Thap's Hong Ngu, Tam Nong and Thanh Binh districts are now 20-30cm under flood water, according to the province's Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and Control.

Many fishermen say water levels are higher than last year and the flood water, bringing in more fish, shrimp and other marine creatures into rivers, canals and paddy fields.

Tran Van Tu, 68, who lives in An Giang's Tan Chau district, said at the beginning of the seventh month of the lunar year calendar, his family sews fishing nets and fixes old ones.

This year's peak flood level is likely to be similar to last year, said Tu, who has 20 years of experience in catching fish during the flooding season.

He said his family has caught about 20kg of various kinds of fish a day in recent days.

"Thanks to the flood, hundreds of poor households here have work to do and can earn extra income," he said.

Villages that produce fishing nets and other fish-catching tools are busy increasing production.

In Thom Rom village (Thot Not district, Can Tho city), which supplies fishing nets for the Delta's fishermen during the flooding season, 20 enterprises have increased production since early this month.

Nguyen My Loan, owner of the My Loan Fishing Net enterprise, said they have been working nearly around the clock over the past few weeks to meet orders.

Nearly 70 households in My Duc commune (An Giang province's Chau Phu district) who make bamboo traps used to catch shrimp and crabs, are working at their full capacities, but finding it difficult to meet orders. The bamboo traps are also sold to Cambodia.

Tran Van Nam, who has made bamboo traps for many years, said many Cambodian people in provinces near An Giang came to the village to buy bamboo traps these days because flood water is also high in Cambodia.

"My family produces nearly 150 bamboo traps a day and earns a profit of about 15,000-17,000 VND per trap," he said.

Many other craft villages in the Delta are also ramping up production, including Nam Quang village in Hau Giang province, which makes boats; Muong Thi village in An Giang province that makes fishing hooks; and several villages in Dong Thap province that produce fishing nets, bamboo traps and mouse traps.-VNA