Friday, August 12, 2005

Teach A Man To Fish, Teach A Woman To Row

Fishing in Halong Bay
Originally uploaded by yellojkt.
Most of Halong Bay in Vietnam has been preserved as UNESCO World Heritage Site and a large part of it is set aside as natural park. In the other areas, commercial and industrial activity is strictly regulated. The bay is dotted with small floating villages that support traditional occupations such as fishing.

In this slide show, a husband and wife team is rowing around checking their nets and traps. Because of the leisurely pace of the boat ride, we were able to watch them for quite awhile. During that time the wife did all the rowing from net to net, while the husband did all the net checking. She is also wearing the bamboo conical hat that is ubiquitous among Vietnamese with jobs that keep them outdoors.

While this couple is fishing with traditional methods, aquaculture is becoming quite a significant economic activity in throughout Vietnam. It seems that rice paddies are not very different from fish ponds. Shrimp exports from Vietnamese fish farms are becoming a major US-Vietnam trade dispute. One of our Ann Tour guides explained that dumping has nothing to with it. Raising shrimp is really that cheap and easy. Sounds a lot easier than rowing your husband all over Halong Bay.

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