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VietNamNews

Environment official apologises for response to fish deaths

Update: April, 29/2016 - 09:00
Local media interviews Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Trần Hồng Hà during his visit to the sea off of Vũng Áng in the central Hà Tĩnh Province yesterday. — Photo laodong.com.vn

HÀ NỘI  — “As a minister, I am sorry,” Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Trần Hồng Hà told local media yesterday as he led an inspection team to take samples of water and sediment in the sea off of Vũng Áng in the central Hà Tĩnh Province.

The team was sent to investigate the cause of mass fish deaths along the central coastal provinces that occurred earlier this month.

“This is the first time an environmental disaster like this is happening to Việt Nam,” Hà elaborated. “Although relevant ministries are working hard to fix the problem, the way we dealt with it was still slow and ham-fisted, and failed to meet expectations from people as well as the media.”

The apology was issued after an especially short press conference held at 8pm on Wednesday by the ministry to report on the causes of the mass fish deaths. Based on initial investigations, the causes were identified to be toxic discharge by human activities on land or at sea, and red tie phenomenon - when dangerous algae bloom occurs at an abnormal rate and produces toxins.

Hà added that all relevant agencies were making efforts to discover the causes as soon as possible, and he hopes people would continue to place their faith in them.

In another movement, Đà Nẵng City’s Natural Resources and Environment Department said yesterday that seawater off the coast of the city was safe and clean for people to swim in and use for other recreational activities.

The announcement was issued following the results of tests that the department conducted on Wednesday and yesterday to check the quality of seawater along the beaches of Phạm Văn Đồng, Mỹ Khê, Non Nước, and Bãi Rạng, as well as Tiên Sa Port and the Phú Lộc and Cu Đê river mouths.

The quality of seawater will be updated every two days for the next 30 days via the department’s official website at http://www.tnmt.danang.gov.vn/ for people to easily check. -- VNS

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