The Wetlands Alliance Programme has helped not only protect marine resources but also raise local people’s awareness of the issue, and created more on-the-spot jobs after five years of implementation in the southern province of Kien Giang.

The programme has been underway in Ham Ninh and Bai Thom communes on Phu Quoc Island - home to 11,000 hectares of sea grass - since 2008. It has created four spawning grounds for valuable aquatic species.

Under the programme, a spawning green crab bank was set up in Bai Bon village, Ham Ninh commune in 2011. Every time local fishermen catch crabs carrying eggs, they will deposit them into the bank. They will receive back the crabs to sell after the crabs lay egg. The bank also provides loans worth 3 million VND to participants, allowing them to pay an interest rate of five spawning green crabs each month.

A fishing management model was also established in the two communes with voluntary groups to protect aquatic resources, natural marine hatchery grounds and the local sea grass system.

In the coming time, the programme will open two or three more crab banks.-VNA