“If you only catch one kilo of fish in a whole day, how can you live?”

Vo Van Tuan (34), fisherman and owner of small fish farm in his floating house in the Mekong delta in southern Vietnam.
I’ve lived here for almost 20 years. There used to be a lot of Fish in this water. Now there are many people and everybody is fishing. So the fish is gone.
Some people did not have enough food. They had to lock their door and leave for the main land.
This river has no future, we can’t fish for a living anymore. People will have to move to the main land where business is good. The local river people have no future here.
Some people had floating fish farms but they got no profit. they had to sell their farms and leave their place.
If you only catch one kilo of fish in a whole day, how can you live?

Conflict between tradition and Modernity

The setting sun paints the sky over Tonle Sap Lake lavender when fisherwoman Mrs. Samnang (32) pulls her net into her small boat with the help of her two children. Metal spray cans of RAID insecticide that they use to keep the net affloat bang against the boat. The catch is poor. “Nowadays we only catch small fish. All the big fish are gone,” she comments with a sad smile on her face. When asked for the reason, she just stares and says: “They say the Chinese have built dams in the river.”