Environment

December 11, 2019, 9:27 pm

Storks guard shrimp lagoon Tin ảnh

(11:02:58 AM 29/06/2013)
(Tinmoitruong.vn) - At night when the owners of fish and shrimp lakes have to keep themselves vigil or hire guards to protect their lakes, Mr. Ninh can sleep until the morning because his shrimp lagoon is protected by storks. Several times, thanks to the cries of storks -- Ninh caught shrimp thieves

 

 

Thousands of storks refuge in Ninh’s shrimp lagoon. Photo: Quang Ninh Online.

 

 In the early shrimp-breeding season, about two dozens of shrimp breeders in Hai Lang commune, Tien Yen district of Quang Ninh province, with over 60 hectares of ponds and lagoons have suffered from shrimp death. Sadness stretches over the shrimp lagoons. Every day many families pick up dead fish instead of harvesting shrimp. Meanwhile, the shrimp lagoon of Mr. Tran Van Ninh in Truong Tung village has always yielded high output in the last ten years.

 

In early 2000, when the shrimp breeding movement boomed in Hai Lang and other coastal communes of Tien Yen district, thousands of hectares of mangrove forests were cleared for shrimp farms. But Ninh did not cut down the trees. Many people told Ninh to do like others, adding that if the lagoon is covered by trees, he will be unable to breed or harvest shrimp.

 

Recalling the past, Ninh said: "Those people now realize the consequences caused by devastation of nature but it is not easy to change. To restore the forest, it will take at least a dozen years."

 

The "Shrimp millionaire" as local people call Ninh was born in a big family. His father died when he was very small while his mother was very sick. Ninh had to give up his dream of becoming a university student to become a shrimp breeder.

 

Ninh said that time, only a few farmers in Hai Lang commune bred shrimp so he had the chance to develop up to 10 hectares of shrimp lagoon in May Village. This place was deserted. Many locals even left their village to seek new opportunities in other places.

 

With a small amount of capital, Ninh was unable to hire workers to build the lagoon, so Ninh had to spend six months to dig the earth and bank the lagoon alone.

 

He divided the lagoon into different parts. The areas with mangroves were maintained and the blank areas were for shrimp breeding. He planned to expand the lagoon after harvesting shrimp.

 

But that shrimp season, Ninh incurred heavy losses because of shrimp death. Being heartbreaking for the losses, Ninh rowed alone in the mangrove canopy under the blazing summer sun.

 

Suddenly, Ninh felt the pleasant cooling from the mangrove canopy. Looking at the clear water, he saw a lot of fish and shrimp waving around the mangrove roots. Returning to his shrimp lagoon, he discovered that the water was very hot because the sun shone directly into the water. He realized why fish and shrimp died.

 

An idea flashed: "Should I try to breed shrimp under mangrove canopy?" Ninh abandoned the intention of chopping down the mangrove forest to make way for shrimp farming. He hired workers to plant an additional two hectares of mangrove forest. In Ninh’s 10ha shrimp lagoon, there were up to 6ha of mangrove forest.

 

Nowadays the mangrove trees are several meters high. If one rows in the shrimp lagoon, he will feel like walking in an ecotourism zone. Thousands of storks have resided here for several years, then mynahs.

 

 

Ninh and his close friends. Photo: Quang Ninh Online.

 

 

One day two Chinese visitors came to see Ninh to offer a lot of money to trap storks in his lagoon but Ninh refused. The two Chinese men were very surprised. They did not understand why Ninh refused such a money-earning chance.

 

Someone told Ninh: "How you're so stupid? Storks come and go. They do not belong to you so why you have to protect them. If this flock of storks are caught, the other flocks will come." Ninh thought differently. He understood the cost of the destruction of nature. The storks and the mangrove forest are biologically connected. It is said “birds nest on good land.” If some storks are trapped, others will leave.

 

The storks are effective partners of Ninh. People ofthen think that fish and shrimp are below, storks perch above is like giving shrimp and fish to the storks. But in fact, storks cannot catch fish and shrimp since the water in the lagoon is deep. Whenever shrimp or fish die and float on the surface of the lagoon, storks eat them. Ninh does not have to hire workers to fish out the dead fish and shrimp like other breeders.

 

At night when the owners of fish and shrimp lakes have to keep themselves vigil or hire guards to protect their lakes, Mr. Ninh can sleep until the morning because his shrimp lagoon is protected by storks. Several times, thanks to the cries of storks that Ninh caught shrimp thieves.

 

Ninh said the storks are better guards than dogs because they are crowded, perch aloft and wide awake. Whenever strangers appear, they cry. Ninh can realize the cry of storks when strangers come.

 

In the rainy season, many shrimp ponds are broken and flooded, shrimp and fish go away but Ninh is not afraid of the rainy and stormy season also thanks to the storks.

 

Normally, the storks leave and return to the lagoon in fixed time. They often leave at 6am and come back at 6pm. But on the days of storms and rain, they usually leave and return very early. They perch on lower branches of mangrove trees. On such days, Ninh released excess water in order to avoid flooding.

 

The storks and the mangrove forest have helped Ninh overcome the storms and sunny days. Mangrove forest canopy is a common home for storks and fish-shrimp. In the summer, mangroves are cool roofs for shrimp and fish. In storms and rains, mangroves are the breakwater to protect shrimp, fish from the thrust of water.

 

Every year, Ninh releases approximately 10 million shrimps and thousands of crabs into the lagoon. It is special that the shrimps and crabs seek food in the natural mangrove forest. Ninh does not have to pay for feed while the lagoon is not polluted by leftovers. Ninh annually collects about four tons of shrimp and several hundreds of kilos of crabs, earning tens of thousands of USD.

 

The prices for shrimps and crabs in Ninh’s lagoon are more expensive than others, but traders favor his products because the shrimps and crabs are fed naturally.

 

Ninh said: "If I cut off the mangrove forest and sold the storks, I would have been suffered from losses like others."

Mai Lan
KHÔNG XẢ RÁC BỪA BÃI

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