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Masses of shellfish wash up dead in Ha Tinh Province

Update: March, 12/2015 - 09:28
Dozens of tonnes of ark clams, snails and molluscs of different kinds died during the past few days and drifted onshore in Ky Anh District in the central province of Ha Tinh. — Photo tienphong

HA TINH (VNS) — Dozens of tonnes of ark clams, snails and molluscs of different kinds died during the past few days and drifted onshore in Ky Anh District in the central province of Ha Tinh.

Nguyen Xuan Truong, deputy secretary of the Ky Ninh Commune Youth Union, said that the commune had the biggest density of dead molluscs in the district.

Commune authorities asked young people and women's unions to dig holes to bury the dead molluscs to prevent environmental pollution. But so many molluscs died that they couldn't all be buried in time, Truong said.

This was the first time molluscs in the district had died so suddenly, and in such large numbers, he said.

Nguyen Thi Thuy, deputy director of the Ky Anh District's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that the department assigned inspectors to investigate. Initial findings showed that the deaths were caused by polluted sea water.

Pham Thanh Binh, director of the Ha Tinh Department of Animal Health, also said pollution was the most likely cause. Also, many farmers raised oysters in such high densities that they didn't receive enough oxygen, which could prove fatal. The department would work with relevant agencies to find the exact cause, he said.

Oysters also died en masse in the province's Cam Linh and Ky Anh districts during the past month, costing oyster farmers their earnings.

Local farmers said households relying on the molluscs lost between VND150 million (US$7,100) and several billion dong.

Bui Quang Tuong, a farmer in Cam Xuyen District, said he had raised oysters for 15 years, and this was the first time so many had died at once.

The department instructed local farmers to clean up their oyster-raising areas, fish out the dead oysters and wait three to four months to raise more. — VNS

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