Fisherman, Chau Doc area

Fishing in the Mekong Delta

I took a boat tour near Chau Doc in the Mekong Delta, a few kilometers from the Cambodian border. They took us to see a fairly extensive floating village (complete with phones, TV, and even the occasional air conditioner) where people farmed fish. This is done with a huge floating netted enclosure, nets draped in the water from floating plastic drums topped by a shaky wooden platform. Last year they were farming catfish, but the bottom dropped out of the market ... They were exporting to the U.S. who have since blocked the imports because of "price fixing." I got serious sympathy pangs - the U.S. has done this to almost every kind of Canadian export at least once, whenever your product is selling better than their internal product. The Mekong, despite being incredibly wide through the Delta, can rise up to three meters in the wet season. This presents very little problem for the floating houses - they just rise with the water.

This gentleman was fishing near a bunch of penned hyacinth plants (which are very common over here), wearing plastic on an incredibly hot and humid day. He gave us a big grin and showed us his catch.