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Sheltering fish at bottom of the ocean in Vietnam



In Cu Lao Cham (Cham Island) in Quang Nam Province, central Vietnam, shoals of fish and shrimp have been gifted with new safe man-made shelter and a huge incubator at the bottom of the ocean.

One day in mid-July, a large barge carrying a crane truck and big square-shaped concrete blocks docked at Cu Lao Cham.

These blocks were soaked in the deep sea to create a house for fish and shrimp.

Home built in deep sea

South Korea’s Sea Morning Company is the investor of a project to build a home for fish at the bottom of the sea, 20-25 meters deep.

Choi Sang Hack, a South Korean expert, was motioning for the crane operator to drop the blocks into the sea.

“Turn left! Turn right! A little bit closer. Okay, drop it down,” he shouted, while holding a smartphone that served his task.

At around 11:00 am, half of the concrete blocks were removed from the barge.

Pointing at his underwater camera, Choi said, “This camera films the job of dropping concrete blocks into the sea and recording images of underwater operations.”

A picture showing a barge carrying a crane truck and concrete blocks to the working site.

A picture shows a barge carrying a crane truck and concrete blocks to the working site in Cu Lao Cham, Quang Nam Province, central Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The camera also stores the images of the stunning undersea world in the Cu Lao Cham Biosphere Reserve.

Moreover, it caught the moments of frogmen steering these concrete blocks toward the right location.

Hard-working underwater jobs

It was not until the final concrete blocks were dropped into the deep ocean that Cho used a special-use device to contact these frogmen in the depth of 25 meters and asked them to take a rest.

After that, two frogmen, Kim Sang Bom and Kim Ky Young, came to the surface of the water gasping for air.

Bom and Young are two of the most skilled frogmen in the group at Sea Morning Company, which is in charge of the project of creating artificial reefs for fish and shrimp, said engineer Nguyen Van Vu, deputy head of the management board of the Cham Island Marine Protected Area.

The group of frogmen has worked on many projects in Vietnam, Bom said, adding that they have been building artificial reefs in the waters off Cham Island since 2021.

To work underwater, these workers must wear a rubber suit, flippers and an oxygen tank, and wrap lead wire around their body.

When concrete blocks are dropped into the water, these frogmen cling to the blocks and position them. 

“Due to diving and working in the high-pressure deep-sea environment for hours, we often spend much time resting and recovering after work,” Bom said.

A South Korea expert motions workers to drop a concrete block into the deep sea to form reefs for fish and shrimp. Photo: B.D.

A South Korea expert motions workers to drop a concrete block into the deep sea to form reefs for fish and shrimp in Cu Lao Cham, Quang Nam Province, central Vietnam. Photo: B.D. / Tuoi Tre

Speaking of the location selected to build the house for fish in Cu Lao Cham, engineer Vu said that despite being a small island, Cu Lao Cham is closely followed by people around the world due to not only its ecosystem but also its importance for aquatic resources.

During the seabed exploration and monitoring process, experts found surrounding Cu Lao Cham are multiple natural reefs which are home to fish and shrimp.

In their breeding season, fish and shrimp use the reefs as a safe haven to lay eggs.

However, fishing has caused inevitable wear and tear on such reefs.

As such, the South Korea Fisheries Resources Agency (FIRA) decided to select Manh Reef in the water off Cham Island to execute a project to develop artificial reefs, which are built with concrete blocks.

Before the launch of the project, experts at the Cu Lao Cham Biosphere Reserve and South Korean frogmen went scuba diving to locations around the island to survey and map out a detailed plan.

Fish live in the man-made reefs, which are their concrete home. Photo: B.D.

Fish live in the man-made reefs, which are their concrete home. Photo: B.D. / Tuoi Tre

“We decided to choose Manh Reef, four kilometers from the center of the island, to build the home for fish and shrimp, as the place has a huge reef, a stable seabed, a smooth flow, and perfect natural features,” said Vu.

“Dropping blocks will widen the house for fish and shrimp,”

600 concrete blocks

The project sponsored by FIRA, with a value of around VND8.5 billion (US$362.2 million), was kick-started in 2020.

The project has been resumed after a long pause because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The man-made reefs comprising a total of 600 concrete blocks are situated at four locations surrounding a big natural reef.

Each artificial reef is shaped into a tower by 150 blocks.

After being completed, the project will be handed over to Quang Nam authorities.

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Your Vietnam

Art club members showcase new ceramic sculptures



LOCAL ART: A corner of the exhibition titled ‘Gốm Mỹ Thuật Sài Gòn 2023’ (Sài Gòn Artistic Ceramics 2023) which is opening at the HCM City Fine Arts Association. Photo courtesy of the association

HCM CITY Members of the Sài Gòn Ceramic Art Club are presenting their latest works at a sculpture exhibition at the HCM City Fine Arts Association.

The exhibition titled “Gốm Mỹ Thuật Sài Gòn 2023” (Sài Gòn Artistic Ceramics 2023) displays 135 sculptures created by 58 artists, featuring various styles, topics and languages.

The artists’ works tell different stories about Vietnamese culture, heritage, religion and environment. Themes of life, love, and motherhood are also included. 

The exhibition’s highlight is a group of sculptures named Tiếng Vọng (The Echo) by 80-year-old painter-sculptor Lê Triều Điển.

The self-taught artist is known for paintings and ceramic sculptures about the people, culture, and lands of his homeland, the south-western region. He has participated in numerous exhibitions at home and abroad — Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, China, and France.  

The showcase also includes works by sculptors such as Huỳnh Thanh Phú and Nguyễn Văn Trung.

Phú brought to the exhibition a sculpture named Sinh (Childbirth), reflecting his sense of the world and life.

BUDDHIST INSPIRATION: Sculptor Nguyễn Văn Trung presents statues of Bodhidharma at the exhibition. Photo courtesy of the association

Meanwhile, Trung introduced his statues of Bodhidharma in different sizes and styles. 

Trung said he has a strong passion for Buddhist art, particularly sculpting Buddhist statues. He spent six years researching and making the Bodhidharma statues.

According to Nguyễn Xuân Tiên, chairman of the city’s Fine Arts Association, all the works in the exhibition were created during the sculpture symposium held in Bình Dương Province in June. The symposium is the association’s annual activity to encourage artists to find inspiration, meet and share their experiences, as well as to promote ceramic art in HCM City and neighbouring provinces.

The exhibition remains open until August 5 at 218A Pasteur Street in District 3. — VNS


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Young artists honour traditional crafts of Mekong Delta on YouTube show



Miss Grand International 2021 Nguyễn Thúc Thuỳ Tiên collects ‘cỏ bàng’ (Lepironia), a kind of sedge, in the first episode of the YouTube show called ‘Nông Dân’ (The Apprentice Farmer) to honour the traditional crafts and culture of the Mekong River Delta. Photo courtesy of the producer

HCM CITY — Young Vietnamese artists are presenting a YouTube show highlighting the culture and traditional crafts of the Mekong River Delta.

The show, entitled Nông Dân (The Apprentice Farmer), consists of six episodes, featuring the journey of Miss Grand International 2021 Nguyễn Thúc Thuỳ Tiên, singer Đức Phúc, and streamer MisThy as they discover the daily life of people in the region and how they preserve local traditional crafts.

The show also highlights the beauty of the region with green rice paddles, beautiful lotus ponds, and peaceful rivers, along with specialties such as bánh xèo (sizzling rice pancakes), and bánh tráng sữa (milk rice paper).

According to Tiên, Nông Dân reflects their love of the agricultural culture, the beauty of work, and the magnificence of nature. It is also a bridge to connect young people like them to the traditional cultural values of the country.

In the first episode released on July 27, the artists travelled to Tân Phước, a rural district of Tiền Giang Province, to learn about turning cỏ bàng (Lepironia), a kind of sedge, into beautiful traditional handicraft products such as bags, hats, and sleeping mats.

They spent two days collecting and processing sedge, and learning weaving with skilled craftswomen in Phú Mỹ Village, one of the oldest cỏ bàng weaving villages in the region.

Tiên said, “The job is really too hard. It requires strength, patience, sharp eyes, and caution.”

The first episode has received good comments from audiences, earning more than 307,000 views in the two days after its release.

Trần Hoài Anh of Đồng Nai Province said that “the show is funny and meaningful. It provides useful information on Vietnamese traditional crafts and life in the Mekong Delta to the community, particularly young people like me. It also reminds us of our responsibility in preserving and promoting the country’s culture.”

The show is broadcast at 8pm every Thursday on Nong Tiên Official’s YouTube channel. – VNS


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Morocco & Việt Nam: Strengthening Bonds and Fostering Collaboration



Moroccan ambassador Jamale Chouaibi wrote to Việt Nam News on Moroccan Throne Day (July 30)

The annual celebration of Throne Day in the Kingdom of Morocco on July 30 is a commemoration of the enthronement of His Majesty King Mohammed VI in 1999.

It serves as an opportunity for Moroccans to express their loyalty and devotion to the monarchy, as the King is revered as the Commander of the Faithful and a symbol of unity in the country.

During his reign of 24 years, Morocco has undergone significant political, economic, and social reforms under the guidance of His Majesty. These reforms have been carried out through an inclusive and participative approach, leading to impressive achievements that have positioned Morocco as a leading country in its region in terms of stability, poverty reduction, women’s empowerment, and investment inflow.

One notable accomplishment is the country’s transformation into a manufacturing hub, attracting international companies in the automotive and aircraft industries. Morocco has also been recognised, alongside Việt Nam, as one of the 25 countries that successfully halved multidimensional poverty in the past 15 years, as reported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

Presentation to King Mohammed VI of the first Moroccan consumer car brand and the prototype of a Moroccan-initiated hydrogen vehicle. Photo Maghreb Arab Press

Furthermore, Morocco is making significant progress in meeting its target of increasing the share of renewables in its electricity mix to 52 per cent by 2030.

The country currently ranks as the first African country and 24th worldwide in terms of maritime connectivity.

In recent years, Morocco has also undertaken mega infrastructure projects, solidifying its position as the top country in Africa in terms of infrastructure quality.

Additionally, it boasts the best financial centre on the continent.

Morocco continues to fulfill its role as a committed and responsible actor on the international, continental, and regional stages. The country has hosted numerous high-level international and regional meetings, showcasing its unwavering commitment to multilateralism, South-South cooperation, and addressing common challenges such as peace and security, migration, counterterrorism, and climate change.

The celebration of the 24th anniversary of His Majesty’s enthronement coincides with the 62nd anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Morocco and Việt Nam.

I would like to extend my congratulations to Việt Nam for its exceptional economic performance and resilience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has garnered global acclaim.

I am pleased to note that the two countries maintain close coordination and mutual support in international organisations and multilateral forums. Despite virtual interactions over the past two years due to the pandemic, the first meeting of the subcommittee on trade and industrial cooperation was held in Rabat in June 2022. During this meeting, both sides identified strategic cooperation areas in trade of agricultural products, energy, textiles, chemicals, fertilizer production, mining, and mineral processing.

The visit of the Prosecutor General of the Supreme People’s Procuracy of Việt Nam to Morocco has further enhanced our cooperation, expanding it into new fields.

The appointment of an Honorary Consul in Hồ Chí Minh City by the Kingdom of Morocco exemplifies the commitment of both countries to further enhance and expand their bilateral partnership.

In the coming years, our Embassy, together with the Honorary Consul, will focus on facilitating direct interaction between Vietnamese and Moroccan economic stakeholders.

Port of Tanger Med, North Morocco. Photo Maghreb Arab Press

This approach aims to achieve more substantial results in terms of trade exchange and the consolidation of our economic partnership. It is also a priority to encourage the establishment of joint ventures between leading corporations in each country, such as the OCP Group and Petro Vietnam Fertilizers and Chemical Corporation.

Another priority is to enhance cooperation, partnership, and the exchange of experiences and expertise in areas where each country holds comparative advantages, such as manufacturing, agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture, tourism, and renewable energy.

Given Việt Nam’s emphasis on developing economic cooperation with Africa, Morocco can serve as a bridge between Việt Nam and the continent.

Morocco has a substantial presence in Africa in sectors like banking, insurance, energy, and telecommunications, making it the top investor in West Africa and the second investor at the continental level.

Morocco seeks to further develop ties with ASEAN and has already acceded to the TAC treaty, MRC as a partner, and AIPA observer status.

In this pursuit, Morocco counts on the invaluable support of Việt Nam to gain more access to the promising regional market where Việt Nam plays a pivotal role. Morocco’s aspiration is to obtain SDP status, and it hopes for Việt Nam’s support during the next ASEAN Summit in September to confirm the agreement in principle given to its candidacy.

With our shared strong political will, I am confident that the partnership between Morocco and Việt Nam will continue to strengthen and gain momentum in the coming years. VNS


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