HA NOI (VNS)— Drought in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai has killed nearly 10 tonnes of salmon worth billions of dong in the past two weeks.
Trieu Thiet Nghia, deputy head of Sapa District, said the drought that started at the beginning of February had exhausted the district's springs which were the main source of fresh, cold water for the salmon ponds.
Water shortages had hit 30 of the 35 salmon farms in recent weeks, he said.
Light rain yesterday did little to improve the situation, he added.
Nguyen Van Luy, head of the Can Ho A salmon breeding co-operative, said they had lost more than 1.5 tonnes of mature salmon.
Nguyen Thai Thinh, director of Thinh Mo Company, said about five tonnes of salmon had died after the Ta Phin spring dried up.
The company had tried to pump water from the spring and other sources to create oxygen in the ponds, but the water was not cool enough and muddy, he said.
Nghia said the district asked salmon farms to temporarily reduce the number of salmon during the dry season and use water refinery equipment to take advantage of the rest of water left in the spring.
Salmon breeding activities were largely dependent on the weather because they had no space or reservoirs to store water to deal with such a situation, he said.
Last year's drought was less serious than this year.
Sa Pa District, with 20,000 sq.m of salmon ponds, produces 170 tonnes per year. Each kilo of salmon costs VND200,000 (US$9.5).
The district is also the main source of salmon roe for the provinces of Lai Chau, Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Thanh Hoa and Lang Son, where the weather reaches 15 degree Celsius and there is a large volume of cool water from springs available. —VNS