A fleet of offshore fishing boats (Illustrative photo: VNA)

Quang Tri (VNA) –
The central province of Quang Tri has established an 18-member council to assess local damage following the recent mass fish deaths.

The council is also in charge of devising solutions that are suitable for the condition of each damaged coastal area and keeping track of their implementation and reporting outcomes to the provincial steering committee for overcoming fish death consequences.

Chairman of the council Ha Sy Dong, who is also Vice Chairman of the Quang Tri People’s Committee, said a set of measures have been put forth to remedy negative impacts of the environmental incident on the marine ecosystem and resources as well as local livelihoods.

According to him, Quang Tri is encouraging offshore fishing operation and the establishment of concentrated aquatic farms. Areas with sandy soil are poised to become new fruit and vegetable plantations, while a policy on supporting lending interest rates will be adopted to support the victims.

The province is also restructuring its agricultural production, giving priority to high-quality rice and short-term industrial plants.

Authorities at local coastal areas – Vinh Linh, Gio Linh,Trieu Phong and Hai Lang – have been tasked with establishing their own assessment councils to collaborate with the provincial-level agency.

Quang Tri has offered aid packages of 804 tonnes of rice and 8 billion VND (360,000 USD) for the sufferers and checked safety standards of offshore fishing products to facilitate trade.

The mass fish deaths along beaches in Quang Tri, along with Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, and Thua Thien-Hue in early April, were caused by poison in untreated wastewater from Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Limited Company. The incident seriously disturbed the fishing activities of the locals.

Formosa accepted responsibility for the incident and promised a total compensation of 11.5 trillion VND (500 million USD) to support local fishermen to switch to other jobs and recover the polluted maritime environment.

It pledged to absolutely deal with shortcomings and limitations in waste and wastewater treatment, improve its production technologies to ensure waste is completely treated before being discharged to the environment as required by Vietnamese State management agencies, and not to repeat such incident.-VNA