PM orders investigation of causes of fish deaths hinh anh 1A large number of dead fish were found along the central coast from Ha Tinh to Thua Thien Hue. (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Specific measures must be deployed to deal with the consequences of the recent massive fish deaths, and to prevent similar environmental disasters, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said at a meeting in central Ha Tinh Province on May 1.

The Prime Minister made his comments while chairing a meeting with local authorities from provinces affected by the fish deaths, which are Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, and Thua Thien - Hue.

Deputy Prime Ministers Trinh Dinh Dung, Vu Duc Dam and leaders of ministries and State agencies were among the attendees.

The Prime Minister urged ministers to seek solutions so that fishermen can continue fishing as usual, while assigning the Ministry of Science and Technology to work with relevant ministries and sectors to probe the causes of the fish deaths.

He said foreign experts can be called for help, if necessary.

Violations by any organisation or individuals must be brought to light, based upon scientific evidence, the PM said, stressing that the Government was determined to protect the legitimate interests of residents.

He assigned the Ministry of Public Security to continue a special investigations into the violation of environmental regulations in central coastal areas

PM Phuc also approved in principle aid to affected fishermen, including 4,500 tonnes of rice to fishermen who have to stop coastal fishing activities following the fish deaths and 60 billion VND to fishing ships affected by the incident.

Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung suggested inviting foreign experts to ensure the accuracy of investigations as Vietnam has little experience in dealing with environmental incidents.

In another move, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha has set up an inspection team, which includes domestic and foreign experts, to independently monitor and analyse waste water released to the sea by enterprises beginning May 5. The inspection will focus on the area around Vung Ang economic zone in Ha Tinh Province.

Earlier last month, massive fish deaths were reported along beaches in four coastal central provinces - Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, aquacultural farms reported 67 tonnes of dead fish while the volume of natural fish found dead was estimated at 100 tonnes.-VNA