Fishermen and seasonal workers are working hard making a seafood product that Phu Quoc is particularly famous for: dried anchovy.
Apart from its beautiful beaches and forests, Phu Quoc in southern Vietnam's Kien Giang Province has long been famous for its signature fish sauce, with the anchovy caught off the island being the main raw material. Sun-dried anchovies are another popular seafood product from Phu Quoc, Vietnam's largest island.
After offshore fishing vessels return to the coast, small boats belonging to anchovy fish merchants transport anchovy-laden baskets to the workplace.
There are numerous shops that make dried anchovy on Phu Quoc, especially in Duong Dong Ward and the communes of Ganh Giau and An Thoi.
Nguyen Ngoc Hien, the 46-year-old owner of a fish shop in the Dat Do area in An Thoi Commune, said that calm waters this time of the year has ensured a bountiful catch. "Some days we even take in 20 tons of fresh fish, which would require 50 to 60 people to work nonstop, including night shifts, to transport and process."
Several shop owners on the island help fishermen purchase their boats to get priority in receiving the anchovy catch. Other species of fish caught are distributed to wholesalers in the market.
Since it takes anywhere between a week and a month for an offshore fishing trip, anchovies are put on ice to be stored in the hull. As fishermen use sonar devices to locate the fish, they almost never return empty-handed.
The windy and sunny weather on Phu Quoc Island during the dry season is ideal for sun-drying the fish, and these trays are put out early in the morning.
While anchovies are caught throughout the year, the dry season in Phu Quoc is from October to March, when they can be sun-dried. During the rainy season, drying chambers are used.