Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — “It is an abnormal phenomenon,” Hoàng Dương Tùng, deputy head of the Việt Nam Environment Administration, said yesterday regarding a mass fish kill discovered earlier this month along the country’s central coast, causing concern among local people.
The situation was unusual because both farmed fish and natural fish died at the same time, Tùng said. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and other agencies are working hard to determine the cause.
While the cause has not yet been determined, scientists have recommended solutions to quickly identify the source of the problem.
Đỗ Thanh Bái, head of the Center of Environmental Engineering and Chemical Safety under the Việt Nam Institute of Industrial Chemistry, suggested that agencies take samples of wastewater discharged by industrial parks into the central Hà Tĩnh Province’s Vũng Áng waterway in order to conduct tests.
Wastewater samples from that area are important because it was the first place where dead fish were discovered, he added.
Samples of dead fish from Thừa Thiên Huế Province and Đà Nẵng should also be taken instead of only taking fish samples from Hà Tĩnh Province, he said.
Associate Professor Nguyễn Chu Hồi, former deputy head of the Việt Nam Administration of Seas and Islands, said the environmental police should get involved to speed up the investigation.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development yesterday sent an urgent note to the people’s committees of coastal provinces warning residents not to eat the fish that died last week.
Provinces from Hà Tĩnh to Thừa Thiên-Huế were warned about the mass fish deaths. The Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình and Quảng Trị provinces saw heavy fish deaths along their beaches over the past week.
While an inspection was conducted to determine the cause, the agriculture ministry banned the use of the dead fish in food processing, and asked relevant agencies to collect the dead fish and destroy them in accordance with the law.
Local provincial bodies have also been asked to inform residents about the ban and instruct them not to sell the dead fish at the market. Fish breeders were instructed to stop taking water from the sea to their coastal breeding ponds until the cause of the fish kill is identified.
In another move, the Ministry of Public Security on Thursday night sent more environmental police to central provinces to investigate the cause.
Major General Nguyễn Xuân Lý, head of the Environmental Crime Prevention and Fighting Police Department (C49), told the Lao động (Labour) online newspaper yesterday that the department had dispatched an inspection team to assess the situation immediately after hearing about the case.
On Wednesday, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Trần Hồng Hà asked units to inspect the cause and provide solutions to fix the situation. — VNS