Vietnamese Salmon Farmer Aims High


Linda Salim, for SeafoodSource from Surabaya, Indonesia

Published on
August 5, 2008

Tran Yan has big plans for expanding his Atlantic salmon farm in Vietnam's Lai Chau province. Tran Yen plans to double production to 80 to 90 metric tons, and he also plans to build a $100,000 processing plant for his salmon and other fish farms in the province. Vietnam's salmon consumption is 1,500 tons, but only 200 tons of that is produced domestically. Salmon is also farmed in Cao Bang, Sapa and Ye Bai provinces.

One of the first salmon farmers in Lai Chau province, Tran Yen started his salmon farm in 2006 with startup capital of $6,000 from Lai Chau Social Policy Bank. The first year was tough when temperatures were too hot for the salmon. Being a novice, Yen didn't have the technical ability to regulate water temperatures from a reservoir, which cost him $18,000 in lost fish.

Following his failure, Yen went to China for more technical training. His persistence paid off. Last year, Yen's farm produced 40 metric tons, resulting in a profit of more than $110,000. Tran Yen's salmon was consumed locally in Hanoi and Haiphong as well as exported to Japan.

Vietnam's salmon farming industry began in 2005, when Samontaimon Co. of Finland launched a salmon hatchery and farming center in the Thac Bac province with the Aquaculture Research Institute. The project managed to hatch and breed 70 percent of 50,000 salmon eggs imported from Finland.

The following year, the Institute doubled the amount of eggs imported to expand the project to other provinces, while at the same time Vietnam's Ministry of Fisheries approved a 3.36-acre, $500 million coldwater fish research, breeding and farming center in Lao Cai.

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