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Central beaches safe: Gov’t

Update: July, 31/2016 - 09:00
Thiên Cầm beach in the central region. The sea in the central provinces, which suffered terrible pollution from the Formosa Steel Company, has been gradually improved and index of iron, phenol and ammonia substances have returned to safe levels. — Photo vneconomy.vn

HÀ NỘI — The sea in the central provinces, which suffered terrible pollution from the Formosa Steel Company, has been gradually improved and index of iron, phenol and ammonia substances have returned to safe levels, according to a Government report.

Monitoring results showed that the pollution has been reduced and the waters are now safe for swimming.

However, the pollution has remained in the bed of sea. Evaluations on the pollution will continue.

Monitoring stations have been operating along beaches from Ha Tinh to Thua-Thien Hue provinces.

The sea pollution is expected to be completely solved by the first half of next year.

According to the Government report, the environmental incident which caused mass fish deaths in four central provinces, caused by the Formosa Steel Company in Ha Tinh Province, negatively impacted 17,682 fishing boats and more than 200,000 people working directly and indirectly on ships.

Seafood yields are estimated to have dropped by about 1,600 tonnes per month, the report said.

Fishing logistic services including salt production, seafood processing, fishing tool trading, and port services also suffered due to the decrease of seafood consumption.

In the four provinces, the percentage of tourists that cancelled tours reached 50 per cent and the room use rates reduced by 40 -50 per cent against the same period last year.

In terms of environment, the report said that ecology was seriously affected with mass deaths of coral reefs and fish. About 115 tonnes of natural seafood washed up dead on beaches. There is also a large amount of seafood dying on the seabed.

The deaths of coral reefs could cause an interruption of the marine natural food chain, which leads to a reduction of marine biological diversification and fishery resources.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development recently released a study showing that some groups of marine species were reduced by 50 per cent in terms of quantity by the incident. The area of coral reefs which were directly affected was 450ha, 40-50 per cent of which were totally destroyed.

Formosa’s wastewater discharges will continue to be monitored, with two cameras installed to monitor inside the company.

The ministry fined Formosa US$500 million and forced the company to take measures to rectify the environmental damage. -- VNS

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