|Sand deposits at An Dũ sea gate in Hoài Nhơn District, central province of Bình Định, make it impossible for boats to access the shore. — Photo danviet.vn|
BÌNH ĐỊNH — Fishermen in Hoài Nhơn District in the central province of Bình Định are struggling to stay afloat, and some have given up as increasing sand deposits make it impossible for them to access the port.
Fisherman Nguyễn Quang Minh, 71, from Hoài Hương Commune, Hoài Nhơn District, said sand deposits had become more serious over the last few decades.
“An Dũ used to be the biggest in the province, and the fishing industry generated major jobs and incomes for local fishermen,” he said.
However, sand has built up steadily by the entrance over the last decade.
“Fishing boats find it difficult to enter or depart,” Minh said, adding that they had nowhere else to moor their boats.
With less boats, there are fewer jobs and fishing-related trade has slowed,” he said.
“Because of the sand deposits, there are no fish left, so the fishermen have lost their livelihoods,” Minh said.
Trần Tấn Thuận, chairman of Hoài Hương Commune People’s Committee, said that before 2000, about 700 fishing boats belonging to local people regularly used the port each day. Boats from neighbouring areas like Phù Mỹ District in Bình Định Province and Đức Phổ District in Quảng Ngãi Province also chose to moor in An Dũ.
The busy fishing industry created many jobs for local people. The biggest shipbuilding factory in Hoài Nhơn District was in An Dũ, Thuận said.
Thuận added that An Dũ was at the lowest part of Lại Giang River and waste from upstream had run down, causing an environmental problem.
“The blocked sea gate also affected flood controls, resulting in higher risks of floods and coastal erosion,” he said.
The sea gate needs to be dredged yearly so that river water and trash can flow into the sea, which would help reduce the flood risk and environmental pollution in Hoài Hương District and its neighbouring areas.
Thuận said that local authorities had even used mines to break up the deposits.
Vice Chairman of Bình Định Province People’s Committee Trần Châu said that last year, the province assessed the situation to detect the causes.
To deal with the problem, the province wants to carry out activities such as dredging. The work is estimated to cost about VNĐ215.7 billion (US$9.3 million) from 2021 to 2015.
Châu said the province submitted the plan to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development last month and was waiting for a response. — VNS