Viet Nam News
HA NOI – Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Trần Hồng Hà has requested the Environment General Department and local People’s Committee to determine the cause of the fish kill-off in central Thanh Hóa Province.
The order came as the media reported massive fish deaths in recent days at Tĩnh Gia District’s Nghi Sơn Island Commune.
The minister further asked the department and local officials to invite experts and scientists to take water samples for testing.
They were also requested to check on information about waste sludge from coastal dredging projects in Nghi Sơn Port which poured into the ocean.
The agencies have to report back to the ministry before September 20, the minister said.
Earlier, nearly 50 tonnes of fish bred in cages, and 300kg of natural fish, were found dead in Nghi Sơn Island Commune, raising suspicions that the fish were poisoned by toxic waste.
However, the provincial Natural Resources and Environment Department confirmed that the blooming of algae, resulting in the red tide phenomenon, was the main reason behind the massive fish deaths.
On Tuesday, the Fisheries Research Institute’s working delegation visited Nghi Sơn, Tĩnh Hải and Hải Yến communes in Tĩnh Gia District to take water samples, Nguyễn Văn Nguyên, deputy head of the institute, said.
He added that the officials would take water samples every hour along three sites that had reported the fish deaths.
On the same day, the ministry’s Environmental Monitoring Centre also took samples of water from cages and from the area near the wastewater discharge system of the Nghi Sơn Oil Refinery and Petrochemical Complex, where dead fish had also been found.
Also, the deputy head of the Management Board of Nghi Sơn Economic Zone said the complex had a plan to wash out crude oil pipes.
After receiving the information, the local Department of Natural Resources and Environment and police asked the complex to stop the discharge of wastewater and wait for test results, as well as specific verification from the Environment General Department.
Regarding information about nearly 400 tonnes of waste in the Taiwanese Hưng Nghiệp Formosa Hà Tĩnh Steel Corportation, Nghi Sơn Environment Joint Stock Company has ended its contract with Formosa Ltd Co for handling this waste.
Formosa company has still yet found a unit for shipping and handling its waste, while the amount of waste in the company’s warehouse is building up. – VNS