'We miss the sea': Vietnam village on brink of poverty after fish kill disaster

Thanh Nien News

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Mass fish deaths take away the livelihood that so many families solely depend on

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 Fishing boats in Ha Tinh Province in central Vietnam have stayed on shore for more than two months. Hundreds of tons of fish washed ashore in Ha Tinh and nearby provinces for a couple weeks in April, and the disaster has turned many fishers jobless as a food safety scare is looming large across the country. Photo credit: Zing.vn
 A sad picture at a fishing village on June 29, 2016. A sewage pipe that runs straight into the sea from the Taiwanese steel maker Formosa in Ha Tinh is suspected of causing the environmental disaster. The government is expected to announce its inspection findings in the last day of this month.
 Mai Xuan Tinh told news website Zing that the disaster has destroyed the only income his family has depended on for years. “We stop fishing because no one is going to buy our fish.” His children have gone south seeking factory jobs.
 Nguyen Thi Tin said her husband used to make at least VND10 million (US$448) a month fishing. Now the family depends on her merger income from collecting bottles and scrap metal along the beach.
 Many seafood restaurants are empty, in the middle of the summer holiday season.
 The fishers have been waiting to hear a confirmation of the cause of the disaster, hoping that someone responsible is going to compensate for their losses and clean up the sea.
 "Super slow” is all Hoang Van Thuy, a seafood restaurant owner, can describe about his business the past two months. Thuy said that his restaurant was very crowded this time in previous years, but there have been days when he had no customers.
 An abandoned anchor has become rusty.
Some fishermen still sail out even as sales remain low. “We miss the sea,” one said. They have to use big boats and catch fish from waters far away. 
You can find the original Vietnamese story here on Zing.

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