Authorities in the central province of Khanh Hoa have ordered a review of aquaculture activities in Cam Ranh Town after local media reported that Chinese are operating farms near a military port in the area.
In an interview with Thanh Nien on Thursday, leaders of Cam Ranh's Communist Party Unit said they had asked the town's People's Committee to launch inspections across the town, where the deep-water port of the same name is located.
Anyone found committing violations would be fined in accordance with law, they said.
That same day, the provincial People's Committee also asked the town's authorities to report on the management of foreigners in the area as of June 8.
Tran Van Ot, deputy chief of Cam Ranh Town's economics division, told Thanh Nien that at the moment the bay hosts up to 800 hectares of aquaculture farms, most of which are unlicensed.
A report on Tuoi Tre Thursday had said that around ten Chinese people have been running some of the farms there for nearly ten years, although they have been labeled "aquaculture experts" who were invited to work for local farms.
Chinese farms are located between 200 and 250 meters to the east of the Cam Ranh Military Port, it said.
Nguyen Van Quy, who lives near the port, was quoted as saying that the Chinese mainly breed groupers for export to China. He said each fish, weighing some 20 kilograms each on average, is sold for some VND1 million (US$48) per kilogram.
Meanwhile, another local named Thuan, said she usually talks to two Chinese people who run the farms.
"There's no such thing that the Chinese were invited to work here as aquaculture experts, because they put money into the farms and employed Vietnamese to work for them," the woman said.
Le Van Dung, deputy chief inspector of Khanh Hoa agriculture department, told the newspaper Friday that a recent investigation found three Chinese people acting as representatives of a "very large" farm registered under the name of a person in Ho Chi Minh City.
Inspectors found the farm violating Vietnamese aquaculture laws by using feeds whose containers have labels in Chinese only, while the law requires all imported goods to have sub-labels in Vietnamese, the official said.
Moreover, the Chinese failed to present documents proving the origins of the fish breeds they were using, as well as certificates that they had been inspected by Vietnamese agencies, he said. Breeds from foreign countries let into Vietnam without inspections could be carrying diseases, he added.
Inspectors are completing procedures to fine the violators, Dung said.
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