Vietnamese farmers dump dead fish onto the street to protest water pollution

By Tra Ban, Thanh Nien News

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Farmers pour dead fishes and shrimp on National Highway 1 in Cam Ranh Town on April 20, 2015. Photo: Hang Van

Farmers in central Vietnam on Monday dumped dead fish and shrimp onto the street to protest sand extraction activities that they say have polluted a local bay and hurt their livelihoods. 
The farmers in Cam Ranh Town, Khanh Hoa Province, reportedly brought baskets full of dead fish and unload them all over the National Highway 1 in front of the local government office around noon. 
The farmers said they did so to protest two companies that used around 10 barges to extract sand at the Cam Ranh Bay, polluting the water and causing fish and shrimp to die.

A sand-extraction barge on Cam Ranh Bay. Photo: Hang Van
They said the sand exploitation activities started in late November along the coastal communes of Cam Phuc Bac, Cam Nghia and Cam Phuc Nam.
Despite strong public criticism, the company refused to stop, the farmers said.  
The protest blocked traffic on the highway, with congestion lasting around one hour. 
At 2:30 p.m. the same day, local militiamen successfully persuaded the farmers to clean up the road.
Nguyen Ngoc Son, deputy chairman of Cam Ranh Town People’s Committee, arrived at the scene and invited the farmers into the government office to talk. 
He also ordered the companies to stop sand exploitation activities until they meet with the farmers and find a solution to the problem.

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