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Pollution kills fish in Dong Nai River

Update: January, 08/2014 - 09:06
Pollution in the Dong Nai River killed tonnes of fish in Bien Hoa City in the past few days, according to local authorities.— Photo dwrm.gov..vn

HCM CITY (VNS) — Pollution in the Dong Nai River killed tonnes of fish in Bien Hoa City in the past few days, according to local authorities.

"Over ten tonnes of my mature freshwater fish died, including carp and hemibagrus, which caused my family to lose over VND500 million (US$23,000)," Tran Duc Can, a local resident, told Nguoi Lao Dong (The Labourer) newspaper.

Since residents in Thong Nhat and Tan Mai wards began breeding fish in floating rafts tens of years ago, the problem of fish dying en masse occasionally occurred. However, local residents say they have never seen such big losses.

Untreated wastewater from millions of households and thousands of factories was at fault, stated a report from the Economic Department of the city's People's Committee.

According to the province's Department of Natural Resources and Environment, the amount of organic substances, iron and bacteria in the river exceeded permitted levels.

The pollution was exacerbated by bags of poultry internal organs used as fish food and a rapid increase in the number of fish cages—there are up to 800, despite the limit of 200—which reduced the oxygen concentration in the water.

Local authorities have tried to reduce the number of fish cages in the area for years. Yet a planned relocation has still not been implemented, although its deadline was the end of last September.

Many local households with floating rafts in the river refused to relocate because they thought the small amount of compensation would not be sufficient for them to breed fish.

Pham Anh Dung, Deputy Chairman of the city's People's Committee, said that local authorities would force all local fishing households to relocate after Tet. — VNS

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