The plastic coracle village in Xuan Dai Bay
Updated : Sunday, October 23, 2016 9:44 AM (GMT+0700)

Xuan Dai Bay (Song Cau town) has the approximate water surface are of 13,000ha, here, thousands of people raise lobsters with rafts. Doing this job, almost everyone equips themselves with coracles to transfer food to the rafts to feed lobsters, which eat fresh, so everyday, the farmers doing this job have to “go to market” in the coracles.

One plastic coracle having “ID”

In the morning, we drive from the National Avenue 1 to Trung Chinh fork (Xuan Phuong commune, Song Cau town) before turning to Xuan Dai Bay, traveling along Vung Mam, Vung Dong, Vung Su and Vung Chao before coming to Vung La.  Passing any region and looking outward the bay, we can sess coracles moving in great density. Most coracles are plastic with the same pattern and the 1.8m diameter, the side of the coracle bears the name, address, phone number.

In Vung Chao, hundreds of plastic coracles are being arranged not very neatly, the only similar traits are the paint color, shape and size. All coracles are written with such words as Dung Vung La, phone number 098…, Hung Vung Su, phone 0169… When we inquire, Mr. Tran Quoc Qung, busy carrying the plastic baskets of lobster food to load into the coracles, smilingly said: this is called to attach “I.D” to coracles. The reason for doing this is the coracles can not find any places to anchor like what ships often do, we have to pull them near the shore, whenever there are large waves that pull the coracles farther, making them floor to Vung Dong or Vung Su. Then, lobster raisers can see the names of the owners’ names and phone us to come and get.

Coracles are the inevitable assets of lobster raisers because if one raises lobsters with normal rafts in the bays far away from the shore, everyday, we do have to travel in coracles to feed lobsters.  As for raising perfume snails, snake-head fish, one can practice near the shore, therefore, anyone coming here with the intention of raising lobsters has to think of obtaining coracles and this obviously turns into the formation of the coracle village” on the bay.

The good point that the story of attaching “ID” to coracles has also been shared by Mr. Tran Van Thinh (60 years of age) in Vung Dong. Before having “ID”, and there were large waves, the coracles floated elsewhere, he as traveling back from the raft, he pulled the coracles but did not know whose coracles those were. He waiting for the large water current with the wind direction, the coracles from Vung La  floated here. Meeting the acquaintances from Vung La, Mr. Thin sent a message to inform any owners. The “orally transmitted” messages helped the owner come and receive the coracles after half a month with the coracle losers spending many days looking for the assets. Now with the phone number, the names of the owners, the missing coracles can be returned to the owners merely in a wink of eye. “Recently, with large sea waves and strong winds, in the morning, I could see 6 corcles,then I used ropes to tie them all and pulled into the shore, I contacted each owner. At noon, the owners came and showed their gratitude to me, some even presented me with rice, wine”, Mr. Thin happily shared.

Coracles here never stay in one place. However, sometimes there are coracles “lying and drowning” whose owners are also known but still stays there because of owners’  debts and coming back homeland. Among thousands of raisers, some are lucky while others are unlucky. Other owners can buy coracles and change the “ID” attached to the coracles.

Apart from the coracle village attached to the name of Xuan Dai bay, recently, near the village, one new coracle village has been formed by those from Tu Nham (Xuan Thinh commune) who previously raised shrimps in Cu Mong lagoon) but due to polluted water sources had to come here to raise lobsters. First of all when looking at the “ID” attached to the coracles, one thinks that owner goes to market from afar but when asking, they know the origins. Currently, the Coracle village of Tu Nham also “go to market” in Xuan Dai bay.

Source: Phu Yen Newspaper

Translated by HAI LOAN

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