return icon

Raising the ‘Mekong river monster’, farmer pockets billions of dong

Ho fish (Catlocarpio siamensis), called the ‘Mekong river monster’, are being raised by farmers in cages on rivers in Vietnam.

Ho fish is a member of the carp (Cyprinidae) family, but it is much bigger. Living in the wild, ho fish can weigh up to hundreds of kilograms. Previously, fishermen needed only to catch one fish to have enough money to buy gold.

“Tens of years ago, Mekong Delta fishermen caught ho fish weighing up to hundreds of kilograms, so they call this fish the ‘Mekong monster’. Some people say when boats have accidents and sink, ho fish come and rescue them. So they call the fish ‘ong ho’ (Great grandfather ho). And some people call them tribute fish for kings,” Ly Van Bon in Can Tho City explained.

Bon is now raising about 30 tons of ho fish in cages on the Hau River, a branch of the Mekong.

According to the farmer, big fish usually  eat smaller fish, but ho river abstains from meat. They only eat moss.

In 2000, he bought small ho fish (300 grams) and began raising the fish in cages. Later, he bought fish breeders from some centers. “I have 30 tons of ho fish now. This is a rare and precious fish as it tastes very delicious,” Bon said.

Bon tried to learn about their life span and the largest weight of ho fish, but he could not find exact information.

“Farmers can catch ho fish weighing 350-400 kilograms and they call the fish ‘monster’ because they are so big,” he explained.

He believes that there are no more big ho fish in the Tien and Hau Rivers. If they still exist, they can be found in Vam Nao River in An Giang, and Tonle Sap in Cambodia.

When living in the wild, ho fish eat moss. When living in cages, they eat industrial feed, so they grow more rapidly. When the fish are small, they add one kilogram in weight every year, and once they are bigger, they grow rapidly.

“The biggest fish in my case weighed 30 kilograms, while the remaining were 15 kilograms and 10 kilograms,” Bon said. He sometimes sell his fish to farmers, but doesn’t sell en masse.

“The bigger the fish are, the more expensive they are,” he said.

For fish weighing less than 5 kilograms, he can sell them for VND100,000 per kilogram. The prices are VND200,000-300,000 per kilo if the fish weighs 7-8 kilos. Sometimes farmers catch huge fish and sell at VND1 million per kilogram.

Also according to Bon, many farmers are raising ho fish in ponds. However, these fish are less delicious than the fish raised in cages.

Hoai Thanh


Vietnam looks forwards to stronger investment from US, Europe

Vietnam is hoping to attract more investment from the US, Europe and major global enterprises under a recently approved strategy on foreign investment cooperation.

People in HCMC wait in long queues at passport office on July 1

On July 1 afternoon, thousands of people lined up waiting for passports at the Immigration Department on the first day of issuing ordinary passports in the new form.

Three SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant BA.5 cases detected in Hanoi

Although the number of daily new cases of Covid-19 is decreasing sharply, Hanoi has recorded three infections caused by the BA.5 sub-strain of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Binh Duong ranks first nationwide by GDP

The southern province of Binh Duong took the lead among Vietnam’s 63 provinces and cities in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in 2021, according to the latest data released by the General Statistics Office.

Tan Hoang Minh allegedly appropriates VND8 trillion of investors

Tan Hoang Minh Group, a major property developer based in Hanoi, is facing charges of misappropriating over VND8 trillion from investors, said a Ministry of Public Security representative.

Businesses get set for circular economy

Vietnam’s rapid economic growth has caused environmental challenges which have forced the nation to focus on fostering the development of a circular economy with less pollution and reused and recycled products.

Over 60,000 fishing vessels urged to seek safe shelter from storm Chaba

Approximately 60,000 fishing vessels operating at sea have been urgently notified to avoid dangerous areas and seek safe shelter from incoming Storm Chaba, according to the National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control.

Siem Reap - Da Nang air route resumed

Flight K6 840 departed from Siem Reap of Cambodia at 3:35 pm on July 1 and landed safely at Da Nang International Airport at 5:35pm on the same day.

Embassy: two Vietnamese arrested in Spain for alleged sexual assault

Police on the Spanish island of Mallorca on June 25 said they had arrested two Vietnamese citizens accused of raping a 17-year-old girl and privacy violation, according to the Vietnamese Embassy in Spain.

The key role of top leaders in fighting corruption in Vietnam

Head of the Party Central Committee's Commission for Internal Affairs Phan Dinh Trac has emphasized the important role of top leaders, especially Party Secretary General Nguyen Phu Trong, the people and the media in fighting corruption.

Huge costs for filling Ha Long largest open-cast coal mine

It would cost about VND 1.20 trillion (USD 52.18 million) to fill the Nui Beo open-cast coal mine pit in Ha Long City after closure.

Cutting taxes on petrol products is more urgent than ever

“VND50,000 please. No, just VND30,000."  “VND100,000, please. No, only VND70,000." These were conversations I heard yesterday at a filling station.

28 provinces, 21 central hospitals report lack of drugs, medical equipment

Twenty-eight healthcare departments and 12 out of 21 central hospitals have reported they lack drugs.

HCMC proposes developing huge port in Can Gio

The HCMC government has proposed developing an international container port in the outlying district of Can Gio with an estimated investment of some US$6 billion to aid the local marine economy.

500 tonnes of Vietnamese-labelled rice exported to EU

Loc Troi Group JSC exported nearly 500 tonnes of rice labelled with its own brand name “Com Vietnam Rice” to the EU markets in June.