Dinh Vu Tam Spends Thousands to Foster a River Fish for the Community 

Welcome to Vietnam Untold. Today’s story takes us to Vietnam, where a remarkable phenomenon has captured the attention and hearts of many. Thousands of fish, living naturally beneath a riverbank, are being cared for and fed by a man, Dinh Vu Tam in the Mekong Delta region, treating them as beloved companions. 

In the past year, the Ong Chuong stream has become home to a flourishing school of wild catfish. It is truly extraordinary! Mr. Dinh Vu Tam, a 51-year-old resident of Long Kien commune, An Giang province has taken it upon himself to nurture and protect them. With a simple tap of his stick on the water, the fish swim towards him, eagerly surfacing to feed, akin to cherished pets.

His fascination began when he spotted the circling fish while mooring his boats and washing his hands at the riverbank. Since then, he has regularly provided food for them. Perhaps due to his care and protection, the fish have multiplied in number over time, forming a large community.

He estimates that the current population of fish is approximately 15 tons, ranging from small ones weighing around 1 kilogram to the largest ones weighing up to 5 kilograms. Due to the significant number of fish, he spends nearly $34 each day to purchase their feed.

Mr. Tam emphasized that he considers the fish pets, and he has never harmed or caught them for commercial purposes. He allows them to swim freely in the river without any barriers, providing them a safe haven by anchoring one of his boats permanently in the water.

Upon hearing about the fish congregating near Mr. Tam’s riverside residence, many people have come to witness this spectacle firsthand. Some have even bought feed and left it for Mr. Tam to feed the fish. However, also others have resorted to using electrical shockers, nets, and fishing gear to catch them.

Recently, the provincial authorities in An Giang province have informed Mr. Tam that they will install signs prohibiting fish catching near his riverside residence.

For Mr. Tam, his greatest wish is for the government to support his efforts in protecting the fish community and to enhance public awareness regarding the preservation of natural aquatic resources in the region.

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