Southern farmers bring dead fish to province office to protest pollution

By Nguyen Long, Thanh Nien News

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A farmer in the southern town of Vung Tau shows a lot of dead fish in his farm. Photo: Nguyen Long A farmer in the southern town of Vung Tau shows a lot of dead fish in his farm. Photo: Nguyen Long

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Fish farmers in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau on Monday brought hundreds of kilograms of dead fish to the government office, accusing seafood processors of polluting a local river. 
The move came one day after they protested with dead fish in front of the seafood companies. 
There are more than 40 families with fish farms along the Cha Va River in Long Son Commune, Vung Tau Town. They said thousands of their fish started to die after midnight on Sunday.
They blamed it on untreated waste water discharged by seafood processing companies in Tan Hai Commune, Tan Thanh District.
The farmers said the problem has been going on for the past three years.
Officials estimated that the farmers lost around VND10 billion ($451,000) from the dead fish, with the most affected family losing more than VND1 billion worth of fish.
Truong Thi Huong, deputy mayor of Vung Tau, said the farmers lost more than VND100 billion in similar incidents last year alone.
Fish farmers protest with dead fish in front of a seafood company in Vung Tau on September 6, 2015. Photo: Nguyen Long
Nguyen Van Trinh, the province’s chairman, said he will order 18 of the 22 companies and factories processing seafood in the area to halt their operation this week to investigate the cause of the problem.
“If the companies are found to cause the pollution and kill the fish, the province will force them to compensate the farmers,” Trinh said.
He has urged the agriculture and environment departments to launch an investigation and submit a report in 20 days. 

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