A family in Ha Tinh has successfully raised hundreds of sturgeon in a renovated pond in the border forest area bordering Laos. With a selling price of 10-20$/kg, they have a high income.
Forest debt payment
In October, the family of Mr. Le Khac Tan (61 years old, residing in Phu Gia commune, Huong Khe district, Ha Tinh) is in the selling season.
The successful model of raising this specialty fish in the land known as the “fire pan” of the Central region makes the farm owner and many people happy.
Mr. Tan’s sturgeon farm is about 2,000m2 wide, nestled in the middle of a green forest, next to Rao Trinh stream, in Phu Lam village, Phu Gia commune. This place is nearly 30km from the center of Huong Khe town, bordering with Laos.
Mr. Tan said, in 2011, the local primary forest was destroyed by “forest bandits”. When he witnessed that, he contacted the Song Tiem Protection Forest Management Board, now the Huong Khe Protection Forest Management Board, to receive protection for nearly 400 hectares of forest. “I also had a debt to the forest, so I had to pay the forest debt,” he said.
In order to improve meals during his stay, Mr. Tan and other forest protection workers built huts, planted fruit trees and renovated a natural fishpond with a variety of species such as carp, carp, and sesame. The protection group also raised wild boars, cows and goats.
However, the farming of these fishes was not successful because of the cold weather conditions. The raising of some other animals also had to be stopped because Mr. Tan noticed that they destroyed crops.
In 2021, through the Internet and friends in Sapa town (Lao Cai province) and Lam Dong province, Mr. Tan researched and learned about the sturgeon farming model.
He found that the temperatures at the creeks coming in were consistent with this pattern. In summer, the temperature in Huong Khe is sometimes hotter than 40 degrees Celsius, but spring water is only about 23 degrees Celsius, and in winter it drops to 10-15 degrees Celsius.
Start collecting “sweet fruit”
Thinking of doing it, Mr. Tan asked the local government for permission to experiment with new fish species. He also invited technical staff in aquaculture in Ha Tinh province to assess the water environment , sanitary and natural conditions.
When there were favorable results here for sturgeon farming, Mr. Tan bravely spent nearly 600 million VND to renovate the ponds such as rebuilding the banks and spreading tarpaulins.
The sturgeon farming model has a circulating water system. Water flows continuously from Rao Trinh slot into ponds and lakes, both to ensure oxygen for fish, and to flow out through underground pipes to keep the environment clean.
In October 2021, Mr. Tan stocked about 500 breeding animals, each 8-10cm long. According to Mr. Tan, sturgeon live on the bottom, eat submerged, food when young is bran at a high price in the market. When the sturgeon was big, he fed them bran from minced trash fish to make the meat firm and delicious.
“The first time I raised my fish, I also felt worried. While raising me, I continued to learn from experience to ensure that the fishes grow well and avoid diseases,” he shared.
And after nearly a year of trial farming, hundreds of sturgeon fish have grown well, each weighing around 2kg, and more than 50cm long.
Currently, Mr. Tan has sold about 300 fish, the rest is continuing to be sold. With a selling price of 250,000-300,000 VND/kg, Mr. Tan is expected to reach nearly 300 million VND in revenue.
After the initial success, in the coming time, Mr. Tan plans to continue raising 5,000 breeds and will double it if it can be linked to the northern market for consumption.
According to Mr. Duong Ngoc Hoang, Head of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Huong Khe district, the experimental sturgeon farming model of Mr. Tan’s family initially achieved quite good results. In the coming time, this locality will reevaluate the model so that it can expand and help people in terms of the consumption market.
Sturgeon is one of the oldest extant fish genera, they are native to the waters of Europe, Asia, North America and most famously in Russia. In the UK, sturgeon is also known as “the queen’s fish”.
This fish has a long body, a horizontal, pointed snout, and the skeleton is made of soft cartilage tissue, so when processing, it can eat bones.
In Vietnam, sturgeon is mainly raised in Sapa and Lam Dong… The meat of this fish is white and pink, with yellow veins in the slices, especially, the meat is very fragrant and tough. This is a high-class specialty fish because of its high nutritional value, especially good for pregnant women, children and the elderly.
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