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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

Mexican artist finds new inspirations in Việt Nam




Artist Roberto Arcuate collects waste such as plastic pipes and gives them a new life in the form of porcelain sculptures. VNS Photo Minh Thu.

By Hương Thu

Mexican contemporary artist Roberto Arcaute has chosen Việt Nam as the final destination in his journey to finish his latest installation project.

The project, named Union: Narrations of a Civilisation, aims to convey a message about the environment. Its idea is to take and copy everyday waste objects and reproduce them in porcelain sculptures with all their labelling information in blue.

It will feature nine sculptures generated from different waste that the artist has selected. Three sculptures are based on the selection of domestic waste that is normally generated in the home like paper, glass, plastic bottles; three others are based on the selection of urban waste that is normally generated in areas where people coexist and the rest on based on the selection of commercial waste from offices, restaurants, and stores, usually food, paper, or cardboard.

In the later phase of the project, he intends to select some of the finished objects to create a form of conglomerate type mass with the help of clay, cement and oven heat.

He said: “The word UNION in this project refers to something obtained by conglomeration (gathering, piling up, and joining fragments). The project proposes to show how a narrative of a consumer society is constructed and how its waste can be reincorporated into our civilisation from reproductions of itself.”

The 46-year-old artist has pursued Union: Narrations of a Civilisation for five years under the sponsorship of the Mexican government. He conducted parts of his project in Mexico, the US, China and several others before coming to Việt Nam.

Arcaute chose Việt Nam as the final destination to finish his new installation project. VNS Photo Minh Thu. 

He first came to the country eight years ago as a tourist and had the opportunity to have first-hand experience of local culture. He was particularly impressed with Vietnamese handmade pottery due to its sophistication and uniqueness and decided to finalise his installation project in Bát Tràng Ceramic Village on his second visit.

He added: “Việt Nam has a culture similar to other countries in the region but also has its own identity and pottery is an example. The clay in Bát Tràng Village is different from the places I’ve been to. In addition, a most striking feature in each product is the craftsmanship.

“I have travelled to Jingdezhen Town, the ceramic capital of China. But I was still impressed on how meticulous it takes for each Bát Tràng artisan to create the best version of their works. They don’t focus on mass production.

“It has been a great adventure to have this visual experience. I think Bát Tràng is becoming famous in the world and soon we will hear much more about this wonderful area of Việt Nam.”

It took him a while to find the appropriate pottery workshop and kiln. Eventually he found one that could provide him with English-speaking assistants and a space to work without affecting its daily production.

It didn’t take him long to get accustomed to his new life and discover more exciting aspects from the simple things of city life.

Every day, the Mexican artist drives his motorbike from his apartment in the centre of Hà Nội to Bát Tràng Province, about 10km away. Possessing an international driver’s license, driving a motorbike has caused him no difficulties, unlike many other foreigners who might feel afraid of heavy traffic in the capital city.

“I leave home early in the morning and return at sunset,” he said. “Along the way, I always hear very special sounds. People say it’s the sound of summer cicadas. It was the first time in my life that I heard such sounds.

“Another interesting thing is that Hà Nội has a lot of rivers and lakes and it rains frequently this season. I find the climate here wonderful. My hometown is in Monterrey, a dry area with many deserts, hills and having no natural water source, so when I saw Hà Nội with many rivers and lakes, I was extremely excited. Whenever crossing the Red River, I often try to slow down to enjoy the view.

“The most important wealth is the kindness of every person and also the spirit of work that could be seen everyday. Without a doubt, that makes Việt Nam different from other countries.”

He is particularly impressed with the kindness of local people. VNS Photo Minh Thu.

Arcaute has also been collaborating with the Mexican Embassy in Việt Nam to conduct a series of art activities, like a conference at the Việt Nam University of Fine Arts.

“I feel very lucky because it is not easy to win such art support in my country,” he said.

Arcaute plans to have Union: Narrations of a Civilisation exhibited in both Mexico and Việt Nam next year, and at the same time, publish a book describing the entire project in four languages: Spanish, English, Chinese and Vietnamese.

The Mexican artist also revealed that he would like to travel to HCM City, Đà Nẵng and several other destinations during his next visit to explore the native culture, which might inspire him with his future works. VNS









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Your Vietnam

Photo contest highlighting beauty of Vietnamese islands kicks off



ISLAND BEAUTY – The beauty of the country’s islands and seas is featured in a photo contest “Hoàng Sa – Trường Sa – Nhà giàn DK trong trái tim tôi” (Paracel and Spratly Archipelagos and DK Platforms in My Heart). VNA/VNS Photo Thành Đạt

HCM CITY — Professional and amateur photographers across Việt Nam are encouraged to compete in a photo contest highlighting the beauty of Vietnamese Hoàng Sa and Trường Sa islands.

The contest themed “Hoàng Sa – Trường Sa – Nhà giàn DK trong trái tim tôi” (Paracel and Spratly Archipelagos and DK Platforms in My Heart) is co-organised by the Vừ A Dính Scholarship Fund, the HCM City Photography Association, and the “For Hoàng Sa – Trường Sa” Club.

According to the organisers, photos should feature the daily activities of people and soldiers in the Hoàng Sa and Trường Sa archipelagos and the DK platforms who are protecting the country’s sovereignty in the sea and islands.

The photos should also reflect the people’s love and gratitude for soldiers and people in the archipelagos and platforms.

Each contestant can submit up to two collections or 10 single photos in colour or black-and-while at by August 15.

Entries must be sent in a digital file in JPG format, with a maximum file size of 3 Megabytes and a resolution of 300dpi.

Contestants will be judged by Vietnamese photographers such as Nguyễn Hồng Nga, vice chairwoman of the city Photography Association, Nguyễn Thanh Tâm and Nguyễn Á.

The organisers will present a total of one first prize, two second prizes, three third prizes and five consolation prizes.

The winners will be announced on August 20.

The organisers will also select the 50 best photos for an exhibition at the Youth Cultural House in District 1 on August 25.

The Vừ A Dính Scholarship Fund and the “For Hoàng Sa – Trường Sa” Club also launched a writing contest on the potential and beauty of the sea and islands, the sacrifice of soldiers in protecting the country, and daily activities of fishermen.

Contestants can send their entries, short stories and poems, to the organisers via email [email protected] by August 15. — VNS


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World Cup winning coach Raul to lead Việt Nam’s futsal




World Cup champion manager Diego Raul Giustozzi will take charge of the Việt Nam national futsal team. Photo

HÀ NỘI — World Cup champion coach Diego Raul Giustozzi will take charge of the Việt Nam national futsal team and is expected to lift the team up at the coming AFC Futsal Asian Cup 2022 in Kuwait.

Việt Nam’s first time competing in the World Cup was in 2016 in Colombia where they finished in the quarter-finals.

At the same tournament Giustozzi, 44, guided Argentina to the top podium for the first time, beating Russia 5-4 in the final.

Earlier, the former Argentinian national player competed in Spain for many years before moving to be a coach in 2013.

He also led Argentina to take a silver at the South American Games in 2014 and the third Continental Cup in same year.

At club level, Giustozzi managed Spanish ElPozo Murcia FC since 2018 and grabbed second place of the Futsal UEFA Champions League 2019-20.

The Argentine manager whose contract’s details are not revealed, on August 1 called up 23 players for the first training camp in HCM City.

Most are veteran players with experience in various international tournaments in recent years such as goalkeeper Hồ Văn Ý, fixo Trần Văn Vũ, ala Lê Quốc Nam, and pivo Nguyễn Minh Trí.

Young faces such as Nguyễn Văn Hiếu and Châu Đoàn Phát and fixo Nhan Gia Hưng are also called up this time.

After five weeks of training, they will leave for Thailand for an invitational tournament on September 8-19 where they will play Iran, Morocco, Finland, Angola and the hosts.

They will compete in the Kuwait competition from September 25-October 20.

Việt Nam are in the same group as South Korea, Saudi Arabia and defending champions Japan.

Giustozzi is expected to help Việt Nam gain a good result and qualify for the Futsal World Cup 2024. VNS


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