The mass fish deaths in the central region are a serious environmental incident that has never occurred (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The cause of recent mass fish deaths in the central region has been identified but not yet publicised as it was waiting for more voices, Minister-Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung said.

“Scientists have determined the cause of mass fish deaths. The Prime Minister has also assigned appropriate bodies to invite domestic and foreign consultants to have independent commentaries,” Dung said at a monthly Government press conference, which was held following the Government’s monthly meeting, on June 2.

“It is of overriding importance, so before any official conclusion, it is necessary to have commentaries from scientists and consultants, both at home and abroad. Once it is publicised, it must ensure sufficient proofs, legality and objectiveness,” he said.

More than 30 ministries and central branches have participated in collecting and verifying the evidence for establishing the cause of mass fish deaths, which were also joined by hundreds of local and international scientists, he noted.

According to Dung, the PM has also applied drastic solutions to ensure that the natural environment, especially the sea environment, be safe and sustainable and ordered strict punishments on any organisations and individuals who committed violations.

He also requested the provision of rice aid for fishermen living in affected areas, financial assistance for fishing vessels which had to temporarily stop operations, and lending interest rate subsidies for fisheries logistic service providers and fish traders.

Currently, the PM has assigned the ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development and Health to check sea areas which are safe for fishing and aquaculture, Dung said.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment was ordered to check projects which are likely making the discharge of waste water, seeing it an advance preventive measure, he told the media.

Present at the conference, Minister of Information and Communication Truong Minh Tuan said mass fish deaths in the central region are a serious environmental incident that has never occurred.

The Government wants to listen to every opinion and is responsible for providing transparent information to people, he said.

At the press briefing, the Government’s standpoint on visa extension and exemption for foreigners to fortify tourism attraction, and the expansion of Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi was also clarified.-VNA