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Sea in central provinces back to normal: official

Update: August, 27/2016 - 09:00
Nguyễn Ngọc Oai.
Viet Nam News

Nguyễn Ngọc Oai, deputy director of the Việt Nam Directorate of Fisheries, talks to Việt Nam News about fishing in the central provinces after the recent mass fish deaths.

What are the tasks assigned to the Directorate of Fisheries following the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s announcement that the sea in four central provinces, Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị and Thừa Thiên_Huế, is safe for swimming, not yet for aquaculture or exploitation of aqua-products?

A day after the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s announcement, the Việt Nam Directorate of Fisheries was assigned four tasks.

First, gather all data related to the damage caused by the recent environmental incidents in the provinces.

Second, complete the proposal on the production restoration and support for affected fishermen to change to other jobs.

Third, develop a guideline helping local fishermen to resume aquaculture production and exploitation as soon as the sea is safe.

And finally, the four provinces will jointly organise a conference to listen to local people’s opinions about challenges they have been facing since the accident. After the conference, authorities in the four provinces will come up with plans to help them switch to new occupations or continue working in the sea for their livelihood.

Do you have any idea that when the sea in the four Central Province will be safe for the resumption of aquaculture activities?

The Ministry asked concerned functional agencies to continue monitoring the sea water quality and inform local fishermen about the water quality.

Meanwhile, the Việt Nam Directorate of Fisheries ordered all localities to check the quality of the fish catch to ensure that products are safe to eat.

What about co-operation between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Health in checking the quality of aquaproducts?

The environmental quality of the sea in the four central provinces has returned to normal. So, I don’t think there will be any problem with the quality of the fish. However, the MARD will work with the Ministry of Health to check the quality of the aqua products.

Will you please further elaborate on the settlement of the livelihood of fishermen in the four central provinces?

Immediately following the recent environmental incident in the four provinces, the MARD recommended that the government develop a plan to support fishermen in the four affected provinces. The Fisheries Directorate has worked closely with the MARD to develop a plan to support the livelihood of fishermen in the four provinces, including writing a proposal to ask the government to lend money to fishermen to make fishing boats with bigger engines so that they can go further out to sea or switch to new occupations.

What about the plan to support the fishermen with compensation from Formosa?

The MARD has asked authorities from the four provinces to compile a list of damages caused in the Formosa incident. Reports from the four provinces must be submitted to the MARD before September 10. Affected people in the four provinces were asked to calculate their losses and submit them to their local authorities. The flow chart will go from village to commune and then to district- province and the central government.

The MARD will hold a conference in Thừa Thiên-Huế today to listen to ideas from fishermen from the four provinces. I think this is the right approach adopted by the MARD in helping people to stand on their own feet. — VNS

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