Local residents worry about the mass fish death (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The mass fish deaths along the central coast from Ha Tinh to Thua Thien-Hue is an abnormal phenomenon, Hoang Duong Tung, deputy head of the Vietnam Environment Administration, said, noting that both farmed fish and natural fish died at the same time.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and other agencies are working hard to determine the cause.

While the cause has not yet been determined, scientists have recommended solutions to quickly identify the source of the problem.

Đo Thanh Bai, head of the Centre of Environmental Engineering and Chemical Safety under the Vietnam Institute of Industrial Chemistry, suggested that agencies take samples of wastewater discharged by industrial parks into Vung Ang bay in the central province of Ha Tinh in order to conduct tests.

Wastewater samples from that area are important because it was the first place where dead fish were discovered, he added.

Samples of dead fish from Thua Thien Hue province and Đa Nang city should also be taken, he said.

Associate Professor Nguyen Chu Hoi, former deputy head of the Vietnam Administration of Seas and Islands, said the environmental police should get involved to speed up the investigation.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on April 22 sent an urgent note to the People’s Committees of coastal provinces warning residents not to eat the dead fish.

While an inspection was conducted to determine the cause, the agriculture ministry banned the use of the dead fish in food processing, and asked relevant agencies to collect the dead fish and destroy them in accordance with the law.

Local provincial bodies have also been asked to inform residents about the ban and instruct them not to sell the dead fish at the market. Fish breeders were instructed to stop taking water from the sea to their coastal breeding ponds until the cause of the fish kill is identified.

In another move, the Ministry of Public Security on April 21 night sent more environmental police to central provinces to investigate the cause.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha has also instructed relevant units to investigate the reason for the mass fish deaths.

The ministry’s Administration of Seas and Islands has sent officials to the affected localities, namely Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue provinces, to study the incident while the Vietnam Environment Administration under the ministry sent a working group the these localities to take water samples.-VNA