BINH THUAN - More than 15,000 illegal lobster traps have been removed from the beach area of Phan Thiet after nearly two months.
According to Dang Thanh Tien, deputy head of the Phan Thiet City Department of Economics, illegal lobster traps were moved from Hon Rom beach to the sea area of Tien Thanh commune.
The effort has been aimed at ensuring the sustainable development of the city's marine resources and tourism.
In recent years, lobster farming has become popular in the area. Many people rely on lobster traps to catch small lobsters and sell them to make an additional living. Authorities say many lines of lobster traps have been set in the sea area about 15-20 metres off the coast.
Even though it brings extra income for locals, authorities say lobster traps can damage the sustainable exploitation of sea resources, thereby affecting tourism and creating difficulties for vessels.
Lobsters should be legally extracted; instead of catching them too small, lobsters should be allowed to grow, as large ones can bring more economic benefits.
Nguyen Thi Huynh Hoa, deputy chairperson of the Mui Ne Ward People's Committee, says since 2010, so many people have been trying to catch lobsters although it has been deemed illegal, as small lobsters go for a good price of VND150,000-200,000 (S$9.30-$12.30) each.
Local authorities say years ago, residents would strongly oppose any move to remove lobster traps. However, this year, the People's Committee of Phan Thiet and the Department of Aquaculture have closely coordinated to remove the traps.
Tien noted that from now until September 30, a team will be frequently examining the illegal trapping of lobsters from Mui Ne beach to Tien Thanh beach. Traps set by farmers will be confiscated in accordance with regulations.