Vietnam government says fish deaths mystery cracked but coy about revealing cause

By Chi Hieu, Thanh Nien News

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Minister of Information and Communications at the regular meeting of the government on June 2, 2016. Photo: Ngoc Thang
Two months after the mass fish deaths were first reported in central Vietnam authorities announced they have unraveled the mystery but declined to reveal the cause.
Minister of Information and Communications Truong Minh Tuan said at a regular meeting of the government Thursday that authorities need more time to announce the reasons for the fish deaths.
“As many ministries and agencies helped crack the … mystery, there are varying opinions and so we need more time for feedback before we can come to a final conclusion.”
Besides, since authorities not only collected scientific evidence but also legal evidence, they need more time to investigate before bringing the culprit to book, he said.
Tuan told Thanh Nien the ministry would reveal the cause of the deaths later this month.
The Ministry of Science and Technology has also said it has collected enough evidence to prove the cause, and the proof is scientifically convincing.
Hundreds of tons of fish were washed ashore in April in Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, and Thua Thien-Hue provinces, apparently killed by industrial effluents.
Suspicion has centered on Hung Nghiep Formosa Steel Company, a major Taiwanese firm in the Vung Ang Economic Zone in Ha Tinh, which admitted it has a large sewage pipe going straight into the sea. But it claimed all its discharged wastewater had been treated.
Officials have said they cannot find any connection between Formosa's discharge and the disaster.

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