Company stopped from burning Formosa contaminated fish

December 21, 2017 - 15:00

Authorities in central Hà Tĩnh Province on Wednesday stopped the illegal burning of frozen contaminated fish by a local company.

Fish harvested in the ocean after Formosa toxic spill contaminated with toxins. — Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ TĨNH — Authorities in central Hà Tĩnh Province on December 20 stopped the illegal burning of frozen contaminated fish by a local company.

Environmental police in the province demanded that Kỳ Anh District’s urban environment company halt its burning of 49 tonnes of stale fish, saying the company is authorised to only carry out daily waste treatment.

Late on Tuesday afternoon, locals in the district found trucks managed by the company carrying the fish, which were collected from the local ocean following the Formosa toxic spill in April last year and stored at local freezing warehouses.

Police checked the site while the company was conducting the trial burning of a small quantity of fish in a kiln used to burn daily waste.

Nguyễn Minh Diễn, head of the district’s natural resources and environment division, said the company’s operation was banned last week by the province’s People’s Committee due to an illegal operation connected with the Hưng Nghiệp Formosa Steel Plant.

However, the order to halt the burning by local authorities has created a dilemma for the owners of the fish, according to a report by newswire infonet.

Trần Thị Thịnh, owner of 26 tonnes out of the 49 tonnes of stale fish, said she was struggling to manage the fish returned by the environment company. “The fish is rotten and produces bad odour, thus we cannot store them in my warehouse anymore,” she said.

Trần Đình Lăng, another owner, said he contacted a qualified company to treat the fish, however, Thịnh and he were unable to afford the payment.

“Actually, we don’t know how to deal with this situation as we are incurring huge losses from purchasing and storing the fish for over a year,” Lăng said.

Thịnh and Lăng are laying the stale fish packages in a blank community land plot.

Local authorities are now preparing a landfill site locally to ease the dilemma.

In April last year, Formosa released its toxic waste water into the ocean near the central provinces of Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị and Thừa Thiên-Huế, killing fish en mass. Months after the environmental disaster, fish harvested from the affected ocean area was found to be contaminated with toxins. — VNS