Story and photos: Nguyen Phuoc Hoai
Hon Yen is a small island in An Hoa commune, Tuy An district, Phu Yen province. Every morning, when the sun’s first rays reach the earth, the fishermen of Hon Yen row their basket boats out to their lobster farms. Lobsters live in caves or cracks in underwater rocks in warm, still water. They are a valuable type of seafood.
Hon Yen is a small island in An Hoa commune, Tuy An district, Phu Yen province. There are two ways to reach Hon Yen from Tuy Hoa city. You can either drive 15km north on National Highway 1A, turn right at Phu Diem intersection on a concrete road and ask for directions to Nhon Hoi village; or you can take the coastal route from Le Duan Road in the city center, passing through An Phu, An Chan, and An My communes to reach Yen Market, from where you can reach Hon Yen through inter-village roads along the coast.
Hon Yen is still a pristine and vast region with sea almond trees, coastal she-oaks, and cacti growing in sandy soil, despite the sun and wind. Visitors to Hon Yen can enjoy fresh seafood like anchovy, squid, and crab at affordable prices. They can even fish for cobia and spinefoot, two species of fish that live near the sea cliffs beside lobster farming rafts. Sea lobsters live in cracks in underwater rocks or in caves in warm, still water. They are a valuable type of seafood.
In Hon Yen, hundreds of households from Phu Yen own lobster farm rafts. On a small scale, a farmer may have one raft with about a dozen cages. On a larger scale, some have rafts with up to 100 cages. Local fishermen adopted this trade in 2005 and have developed it until today.
Lobster farming has brought economic benefits to fishermen and changed the life of every household. Every morning when the sun’s first rays reach the earth, the fishermen of Hon Yen row their basket boats out to their lobster farms. The lobsters farmed here are tropical rock lobsters, spiny lobsters, and fingerlings, some of which are the size of a finger. Experienced fishermen say that lobsters can be fed twice a day, but it’s important to feed them in the early mornings and late afternoons. Lobster farming requires a lot of work, and farmers must pay attention to timing to adjust the amount of food accordingly. Molting depends on the cycle of the tide, as lobsters typically start to molt at the end of a flood tide. In Hon Yen, hundreds of households from Phu Yen own lobster farm rafts. On a small scale, a farmer may have one raft with about a dozen cages. On a larger scale, some have rafts with up to 100 cages. Lobster farming has brought economic profits to local fishermen and changed the lives of their families.
On Hon Yen, visitors can witness a bustling scene of ships and boats docking at dawn. They can also visit the old Whale Temple, a symbol of the fishermen’s spiritual beliefs, and admire the mossy rocks, or the old sea almond trees, and rocky beaches that extend to lines of coastal she-oak. Visitors can also enjoy delicacies made from lobster that will create unforgettable experiences.