Nearly 70 tons of dead fish had been collected from Ho Chi Minh City’s Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal over the past two days, with water pollution coming up as the apparent cause, a city official said.
Nguyen Toan Thang, director of the city’s environment department, said on Wednesday that environment workers have been working around the clock to deal with the mass fish deaths.
Fish started surfacing on Monday evening, just a couple hours after the first heavy downpour of the season washed into the canal a large amount of waste clogged in the sewage system more for many dry months.
There were so many dead fish the city had to send 250 workers to collect them. The group worked through Wednesday night.
The city has prepared tons of substances to improve the water quality.
Fish died en masse on the canal in similar cases in the summers of 2014 and 2015.
Questioned by local media about whether the city should have been better prepared this year, the city’s agriculture department director Nguyen Phuoc Trung said a proper solution is “needs more investment.”
“What we can do right now is to collect the dead fish,” Trung said at the news briefing on May 17.
The Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe canal runs more than eight kilometers through District 3 and Tan Binh, Phu Nhuan and Binh Thanh districts. The city spent around a decade and more than US$390 million, including funding from the World Bank, to revive it from a stinky, dirty canal several years ago.
Following the cleanup the water has attracted fish again, with local authorities augmenting the stock by releasing more fish into it.
Environment workers pick up dead fish from the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal in Ho Chi Minh City May 18, 2016. Photos: Quang Khai/Tuoi Tre
The city has sent out 54 boats to collect the fish on Tuesday.
Dead fish cover a large area of water.
Environment workers only have a tiny mask to deal with the foul odor.
The dead fish are transported to a dump site in Binh Chanh District.