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Silt in river mouths threatens Quang Ngai Province fisheries

Update: April, 10/2013 - 09:59
Fishing boats are frequently stranded because of silted river mouths. Some boats at the My A River mouth in Duc Pho District have been destroyed after running aground on the silt. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Long

QUANG NGAI (VNS) — A number of river mouths in central Quang Ngai Province have silted up, affecting fishing activities.

The Sa Can and Sa Ky areas in Binh Son District, Sa Huynh and My A in Duc Pho District, and Dai in Tu Nghia District are nearly completely blocked.

Le Dai, a fisherman for more than 14 years in Tu Nghia, said: "The Dai sea mouth has frequently silted up in the past two years."

After Tet (the Lunar New Year) in early February this year, the area has almost completely silted up and fishing boats cannot traverse through it, he said.

Many boats which crossed it to fish before Tet now have to dock at other fishing ports in nearby areas.

Do Ngoc Tay, chairman of a local commune People's Committee, said the commune has two important river mouths.

"But the Lo has totally silted up and the Dai is 80 per cent silted," he said.

This has affected more than 900 fishing boats in his commune, Nghia An, where 95 per cent of people subsist on fishing.

Commune authorities have petitioned district and provincial authorities to dredge the silt.

At the My A river mouth in Duc Pho District, fishing boats are frequently stranded because of silt, with some even being destroyed.

Strong tides and changes in currents also cause silting, experts said.

Besides, if rivers do not flow strongly, they are unable to wash away the silt. Besides causing hundreds of fishermen's boats to remain idle on shore and thousands of fishermen to become jobless, the silt also causes difficulties for maritime service providers.

Seafood processors and boat repair and other fishing-related services have been badly affected in recent years.

To combat the silting problem, Quang Ngai authorities recently contracted dredging firms to clear the Sa Can and Dai areas and take away sand for exporting.

The province has a coast line of more than 130km and more than 5,580 fishing boats.

Of the latter, 70 per cent fish offshore, catching some 127,000 tonnes of fish and other creatures annually. — VNS


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