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Farmers lose billions as rains kill fish

Update: July, 24/2017 - 15:43
The Hòa Bình Hydropower plant in the northern province of Hòa Bình discharges floodwater. — VNA/VNS Photo Nhan Sinh
Viet Nam News

PHÚ THỌ — Hundreds of tonnes of fish raised in the rivers of Phú Thọ, Phú Yên and Bình Thuận provinces died recently because of floodwater discharge and changes in water quality.

Around 350 of the 1,000 tonnes of fish that were being bred in the stretch of Đà River in the northern province of Phú Thọ had died by Saturday, accroding to intitial statistics from Phú Thọ Province’s fishery department.

As a result, households in Thanh Thủy and Thanh Sơn districts have incurred losses worth billions of đồng, as per estimates made by the province’s sub-department of fisheries, local media reported.

Out of the 200 affected fish cages in the two districts, 133 cages lost all fish. The remaining 67 cages lost 30 to 70 per cent of the fish.

The incident reportedly occurs following the Hòa Bình hydropower plant discharging floodwater to its reservoir last Tuesday. 

Farmer Dương Tiến Dũng from Thanh Thủy District’s Xuân Lộc Commune said Đà River started flowing faster and changing from a clear green to opaque red on Tuesday night. 

By Thursday, the fish had started becoming disoriented and breathing through their mouths, and died, he said. 

The central Phú Yên Province on Sunday reported that 40 to 80 per cent of grouper and red tilapia fish being raised in 400 cages in Ô Loan lagoon had died. Provincial authorities had collected water samples from the lagoon for investigation.

Farmers in the area are trying to save the remaining fish by reducing the number of fish in each cage and bathing them in cold water, but so far, it does not seem to have helped much.

Also on Sunday, the People’s Committee of Đồng Phú District in the southern Bình Phước Province reported that 90 per cent of the fish being bred by 40 households in Suối Giai Lake had died. Farmer Trần Văn Nhu from the district’s Tân Lập Commune is among the worst hit, having lost five tonnes of mature redtail catfish, worth half a billion đồng.

The mash fish death was likely caused by high levels of aluminium and lack of oxygen in the water as a result of heavy, continuous rainfall, the commune’s People’s Committee said.

Many farmers have been forced to sell their fish at much lower prices because of the mass deaths.

Majority of the affected farmers in these provinces hail from poor households and have borrowed money from banks to breed fish.

Further investigations are underway. — VNS

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