Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnam Fisheries Association (VFA) has proposed building a map of the sea floor for fishing in the four central provinces affected by the Formosa environmental incident.

In a document sent to the Government Office and the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, Health, and Natural Resources and Environment, the association mentioned the ambiguous announcement of the ocean floor safety made by the ministries, according to Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Saigon) newspaper.

The map should seal off the unsafe areas by detailing their latitudes and longitudes, it said.

The association also underlined the need for the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to supervise boats operating in the restricted areas.

VFA Chairman Nguyen Viet Thang suggested the Directorate of Fisheries deliver leaflets to consumers, telling them the Vietnamese and scientific names of deep-sea fish, attached with their pictures.

The MARD’s Agro-Forestry and Fishery Quality Management Department and its local affiliates should certify seafood safety in the four central provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue, he said.

The environmental incident occurred in April, beginning with mass fish deaths along the coast in Ky Anh township, Ha Tinh province on April 6, then in Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue provinces.

It is estimated that some 15 tonnes of natural fish and two tonnes of farmed fish died in Ha Tinh province. Meanwhile in Thua Thien-Hue, some 30 tonnes of natural fish died. The pollution damaged about 400 hectares of coral and affected over 260,000 people who earn their living in sea-related activities.

In late June, Formosa Ha Tinh accepted responsibility for the mass fish deaths. The company pledged to compensate more than 11.5 trillion VND (500 million USD), which will be used to support local fishermen in changing their jobs and recover the polluted maritime environment. It also vowed to deal with shortcomings in waste treatment.

On August 22, the environment ministry announced that the marine environment in the coastal areas of the four central provinces was basically safe.-VNA