By Tran Thuy Binh
Can Thanh, Vietnam, September 17, 2018
Despite knowing the damage she was causing, Nguyen Thi Vang still walks through the coral reef in the Tam Hai sea to collect seaweed for her daily meals. “When I walk, I heard its broken sound and I feel painful,” said Nguyen. “Yet I need seaweed.”
When seaweed dies it floats on the water. But due to high demand locals pick the seaweed while it is still alive, walking over and often breaking parts of the coral reef. While the harvest season traditionally starts in May, Nguyen and other locals collect earlier. “People from other communes come and if we do not harvest they will collect it all,” said Nguyen.