Wednesday, December 7 2016

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Illegal mussel traps delay river renovation project

Update: April, 13/2016 - 11:04
 Khánh Hòa Province has banned aquaculture breeding in these rivers to protect the ecosystem. — Photo baokhanhhoa

KHÁNH HÒA Viet Nam News -— More than 2,000 mussel traps have been placed illegally by residents on the Tắc and Quán Trường rivers of central Khánh Hòa Province, slowing down renovation work here.

According to the Lao Động (Labour) newspaper, Khánh Hòa Province has banned aquaculture breeding in these rivers to protect the ecosystem.

A restoration project, controlled by the Khánh Hòa province waterway traffic project’s management board, is currently underway. Illegal placement of the traps has made it impossible for the construction equipment and machines to reach the rivers.

Nguyễn Thị Hoa Sim, deputy chairwoman of the Phước Long Ward’s People’s Committee, one of the wards that run along the rivers, said the rivers used to be very dry, so raising the mussels was difficult. Since the river dredging project began, the residents have been taking advantage of the emerging tides to place their traps and collect the mussels.

There were some 400 traps in the region, but only two households that had laid seven traps had been penalised so far, Sim said.

Nguyễn Lê Hoàng Việt, from the provincial waterway traffic project’s management board, said the board had co-operated with local authorities to curb the violations but nothing had changed.

Mussels have high economic value and are mainly used as food for shrimps. They can be raised without being fed, so residents from provinces such as Bình Định, Quảng Ngãi and Phú Yên place the traps and go away, returning two to three months later to collect the mussels, which are then sold.

The traps also hindered the flow of the rivers, polluted these water bodies and slowed down the river dredging progress, Nguyễn Anh Tuấn, deputy chairman of the Nha Trang city’s People’s Committee, said.

The situation became more complicated when residents resorted to threatening the construction workers and officers of local authorities

The People’s Committee had ordered the authorities of the wards that own the rivers to persuade residents to stop the aquaculture exploitation, but most had failed to follow the rules, he said.

After April 15, inter-sector forces would remove the traps and punish violators according to the regulations, if the residents failed to remove them, he added. — VNS

 

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