The series “Farming bigfin reef squid in seaweed season” by lensman Tran Bao Hoa won silver at the recent Vietnam Art Photography Awards.
Hoa, a resident of Binh Dinh Province, captured the catching and farming of bigfin reef squid in the Nhon Hai Commune sea area, about 30 km from resort town Quy Nhon, the south-central province’s capital.
Catching squid reportedly occurs without disrupting the seaweed ecosystem. This type of seaweed is called Sargassum, which reproduces and develops naturally in the Nhon Hai sea.
Sargassum often lives on coral reefs and underwater rocks. They often emerge from the water surface once fully grown, resembling an underwater forest.
A fisherman gently separates the net from the seaweed. Rabbitfish and cobia, often included as bycatch, are habitually fed to the squid.
Most bigfin reef squid live among the seaweed and coral reefs.
“Seaweed season from April to August each year is the best time to farm squid. They reach the size of your hand, catching them requires great skill,” said Quan, an experienced fisherman.
Squid are generally fed at 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. daily.
Cages are routinely cleaned out and checked for damage.
Squid are raised in cages containing around 40 to 80 individuals. Each batch of squid takes about 70-80 days to mature.
Hoa said: “I learned a lot about this job, which few people have heard of before. It shows the mutual relationship between people and nature. Those who protect nature will be rewarded with wonderful results.”
The photo series won the silver prize at Vietnam Art Photography Awards 2020, which was organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Vietnam Photographic Artist Association.
A contest exhibition is ongoing at the Temple of Literature (Quoc Tu Giam), 58 Quoc Tu Giam Street, Hanoi’s Dong Da District, from October 14 to 23.