Credit for the photo and key information: DO Xuan Hai (Vietnam)
Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)
Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) was introduced into Vietnam from China and Australia in 2002 (for research/aquaculture). Several methods have been adopted in the culture of oyster in Vietnam.
Some of the cages shown in the inserted picture are used for finfish culture while oysters are cultured on ropes which are fastened to the bamboos above. The culture of Pacific oyster within marine finfish cages is a common practice as the nutrient-rich waters result from the finfish cages provide a nutrition base to oyster that feeds by filtration; grouper and cobia are the common fish species cultured in such cages. Water depth in this location is about 9 meters.
The major advantages of rope method include higher growth rate and better quality of produced oyster. This is in addition to higher survival rate due to the avoidance of bottom dwelling predators.
Farmers grow their oysters on recycled shells whereas each shell hosts three spats. Shells are placed to 1.5-m ropes which are fastened to the upper bamboos with about 50-cm intervals. The growing season of oysters in this region takes about 9 months from a spat to a commercially acceptable mollusk.
The culture of Pacific oyster takes place in several provinces including Halang Bay and Calaba Island. There is at least 10,000 low-income families do live in the Ha Long Bay area with the ability to adopt or diversify into oyster farming.
Because Vietnamese consumers readily accept and appreciate oysters, produced oysters are mainly marketed locally through oyster markets which are developing rapidly and allow to absorb the vast majority of oyster production. Export markets for Vietnamese oyster would always depend on quality assurance of produced oyster.