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750,000 VND per kg of freshwater dolphins

Freshwater dolphins, a specialty in An Giang, have continuously increased in price, even doubling in the same period last year.

Every week, Ms. Linh, the owner of a seafood shop in Tan Binh (HCMC), about 30 kg of freshwater dolphins, but she said, “when the goods arrive, the customers order them all”. Not yet in season, not yet the flood season, so this week dolphins are scarce, she has to “hunt” from people fishing in An Giang to collect a few kilograms to several tens of kilograms each time. If in season, every day there are weights for sale.

“Now I have returned exactly 5 kg, so I sell 750,000 VND per kg. The price is twice as high as last year, but regular customers still love it,” Linh said.

Dolphins at a store in Ho Chi Minh City.  Photo: Tuyet Anh.

Dolphins at a store in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Snow Anh.

She also bought about 10 kg of dolphins, but Ms. Loan, from District 8, said she did not have enough goods to sell. “Every time this kind of product is in stock, people will buy it from regular customers. Only a few kilograms at a time while the demand is three times higher,” said Ms. Loan.

Not as expensive as wild fish, but farmed dolphins also cost up to 650,000 VND per kilogram, up 30% from last year.

Mr. Hoang, the owner of a seafood shop in Go Vap, said it takes 7 months for farmed dolphins to be harvested. In particular, when transporting long distances, this fish is easy to die, so it is difficult to preserve. The price of live dolphins when transported to Ho Chi Minh City is always quite high.

“This type is very wasteful, if it is not cleverly transported to the place where all the fish are dead, there is a high risk of loss,” said Mr. Hoang.

According to Mr. Hoang, natural dolphins in the season are rare, while at this time to have fish, people have to go to downstream areas such as Can Tho, Soc Trang, Hau Giang… to catch.

As for farmed dolphins, the number of successful farming is quite low. Breeding dolphins takes about 7-8 months to harvest. This fish is often raised in cages, the technique is not difficult, but to achieve high productivity, you must master the techniques and living habits of the fish. For dolphins to grow well, cages must be placed in places where the water is clear and has strong currents. In addition, during the breeding process, they must regularly visit the rafts and clean the rearing area to avoid them getting sick and dying.

According to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of An Phu district (An Giang), dolphins are a breed with high economic value, but in the district, the number of households raising is not much. If you want to raise them, you must master the techniques and learn carefully the characteristics to avoid mass death.

Freshwater dolphins usually appear in the floating season (July-October lunar calendar) in places with strong currents. The dolphin’s body is flat, only the size of three adult fingers, the largest is about an inch long, smooth skin, pale blue without scales. The tail, fins, and period of the dolphin have a very beautiful orange-red color. When in the flood season, people often catch by laying roofs, spreading nets… When caught out of the water, freshwater dolphins sound like squeals, so they are called dolphins.

Hong Chau

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