Nguyen Thiec’s family members have had a good holiday on the occasion of the 2016 Lunar New Year of the Monkey.

Thiec, the family’s major breadwinner, works as a fisherman in the US and can support the family with his income which is much higher than the income of other Vietnamese families.

Thiec and the other seven boatmen do tuna fishing with a boat in Hawaii, for which he can earn $1,000 a month, or VND22 million.

In Vietnam, those who have monthly income of VND10 million are listed as ‘high income earners’.

The fishing boat is chartered by Nguyen Thi Bong, who hires Thiec and the other fishermen is valued at $1.2 million.

Each fishing trip lasts two weeks. The fishermen have to go to many places to catch fish, either in Hawaii or California waters.

“When working on such a boat with modern equipment, we dream we can work under such conditions in Vietnam,” Thiec said.

Pham Tuan, a fisherman from Ha Uc Hamlet, the famous traditional fishing village, has left Vietnam for the US after the Tet holiday.

In the US, Tuan works as a captain of a fishing boat and earns $1,500 a month. Meanwhile, one must speak English, have good health and obtain work permits to become a helmsman.

At first, Tuan was just a sailor. But after a period of working, he has improved his capability and become a captain who leads a team of fishermen.

“It’s good that more Vietnamese go to the US fishing. They would have more experience which would help them a lot later when they return to Vietnam,” Tuan said about the future.

Nguyen Thiec and Pham Tuan have added themselves to the list of Vietnamese exported workers.

In late 2014, local newspapers reported that 30 Vietnamese farmers in Mekong River Delta went to Laos, where they helped Lao farmers grow rice and demonstrate rice cultivation techniques.

“Vietnamese farmers undertook all the works of the rice cultivation, from tillage to harvesting. The rice created was sold to the Dutch at prices which were four times higher than in Vietnam. After the cultivation, we gave back the land to Lao farmers. We got paid for our work,” said Nguyen Van Trong from Tam Binh district of Vinh Long province, the head of the team of 30 farmers.

When asked about the income, Trong said skilled farmers who could drive tractors and harvesters could earn VND20 million a month, while others VND6 million.

“The daily income of VND200,000 is four times higher than in Vietnam,” Trong said.

Dat Viet - February 21, 2016