Authorities in the central province of Phu Yen have ordered all the floating aquaculture farms in a local bay to close by the end of this month, after some were found under the illegal management of Chinese nationals.
A report on Vietnamnet Tuesday quoted the provincial People's Committee as saying that all the floating aquaculture farms in Vung Ro Bay, Dong Hoa District, were operating illegally.
It said that in 2005, provincial authorities announced that the bay would be cleared for a seaport and no aquaculture activities would be allowed.
However, at least 860 rafts are still farming in the bay.
According to authorities, the farms, which earn tens of billions dong per year, had also evaded taxes and environmental fees.
They were found importing fish breeds and feed without the knowledge of local authorities, and unlawfully dumping waste into the local environment.
Meanwhile, people worked for the farms without contracts, authorities said.
On June 5, Phu Yen authorities launched an investigation into activities in the bay after local media reported that Chinese nationals were operating aquaculture farms in Vung Ro and Cam Ranh Bay in the central province of Khanh Hoa without local authorities' awareness or supervision.
All the Chinese traders, however, had already left the bay by the time inspections ensued.
Meanwhile, in response to the report, Khanh Hoa authorities that same month fined and deported seven Chinese nationals working as fish farmers and traders for not registering for temporary residence permits.