Basa farmers cash in with technology

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
31 March 2007, at 1:00am

MEKONG DELTA - Fish farmers in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta are making big bucks exporting the ever popular basa catfish.

To meet the increasing demand for the tasty treat, farmers are using a new website called Wikimapia to find the best places to breed catfish in the Tien and Hau Rivers.

The website, owned by the same company that runs the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, has a wealth of aerial photographs and satellite images from around the world, including Viet Nam.

Farmers say the images give them a better idea of where catfish are likely to mature best.

"This website allows me to see the whole area. I can figure out which land is suitable for fish breeding," says Nguyen Van Hoa.

The "land hunters", a name that’s beginning to catch on for these innovative fishers, have focused their efforts where the two rivers cross into Can Tho and Tra Vinh Provinces.

"These are perfect spots to breed fish because the area has strong currents to oxygenate the waters and a stable eco-system devoid of pollutants," he says.

"Just by clicking the mouse, I learn the pros and cons of each region. The only thing I have to worry about is the price of the land!" says Hoa.

With the help of his partners, Hoa has also bought 10ha of land in Dong Thap Province. The farmers say they are considering buying even more on the Hau River because the catfish market is so strong.

Source: VNS