People fish along the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Duc Tien
People are still fishing illegally along the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe and the Tau Hu-Ben Nghe, two badly polluted canals that have been cleaned up recently, despite big fines imposed by the city government.
Some even electrocute the fish, a dangerous practice that will kill a large number of fish in the canals.
According to workers of HCMC Urban Environment Company, every early morning, two power-engined boats travel from the Saigon River to the Tau Hu-Ben Nghe Canal’s section under Calmette Bridge linking District 1 and 4. People cast fishing nets and use electricity to catch fish.
Authorities in Ward 19 of Binh Thanh District said they confiscated 15 fishing rods and a fishing net from illegal fishers on the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal over the last three months.
Police in Ward 13 of District 3 also seized more than 30 fishing rods between June and August.
Some illegal fishers approached by Thanh Nien said they usually sold the fish to traders in wet markets.
The HCMC Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said it will soon finish a draft law that strictly prohibits fishing on the city's canals
Fines ranging from VND500,000-5 million (US$22-222) will be applied, based on the weight of the illegal catch.