4 months after mass fish deaths, fishermen in central Vietnam remain jobless

Thanh Nien News

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The government has still not drawn up the compensation list

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 Hundreds of fishing boats have stayed ashore at a fishing village in Ha Tinh Province since April when tons of dead fish washed ashore local coast and created a seafood scare across the country. The steel plant of Taiwan’s Formosa around two kilometers away, which is held responsible for the disaster, has yet maintained its daily operation, with the red and white chimney pictured.
 An anchor is all rusty after being left unused for four months. The fisherfolk said most of engines on their boats have broken down and the repair would cost them several thousand dollars each to sail out again.
Many parents are worried about finding enough money to send their children to school year in September. Formosa has paid up the compensation of US$500 million to the Vietnamese government, but the latter has not worked out the list of affected people yet.
 It’s the same bleak picture in neighboring Quang Tri Province, where people have to cover their boats with leaves on to protect them from rain and sun and from children seeking to turn them into a playground
 Two fishermen in Quang Tri fix their coracle, hoping to get back to business soon after the environment ministry last week announced that the central coast is safe for swimming and aquaculture.
 "We hope there is still fish for us to catch,” Son, a fisherman in Quang Tri, told news website VnExpress. At least 70 tons of dead fish washed ashore in Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue Provinces in April, and studies found the seabed has been badly damaged by toxic effluents from Formosa.
 Around 70 hectares of salt fields in a commune in Ha Tinh Province have been left empty. “We couldn’t sell the salt because people are afraid it is poisoned like the sea,” salt farmer Nguyen Duc Viet, 46, said.
 Cua Viet beach in Quang Tri is empty one morning in late August. Official figures show that tourist arrivals in the province have reduced to a tenth of that of last year.
 A fish market in Ha Tinh has started to get busy again, but the amount of fish sold every day is still small.
You can find the original Vietnamese story here on VnExpress

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