Fish deaths hit Quang Binh for $179 million

By Hoang Tao   July 4, 2016 | 07:23 pm GMT+7
Fish deaths hit Quang Binh for $179 million
Quang Binh lost $179 million in the aftermath of the recent environment disaster. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Tao

Quang Binh Province will lose an estimated four trillion VND ($179 million) by the end of 2016 as result of the recent mass fish deaths.

The disaster caused by Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Plant (FHS) in central Vietnam has severely affected Quang Binh's fishing, tourism and services, said local authorities.

An estimated 70 tons of dead fish washed up along more than 200km of Vietnam’s central coastline in early April. The provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Tri, Quang Binh and Thua Thien Hue were the worst hit, where thousands of fishermen lost customers or were forced to sell at a loss. Formosa Ha Tinh Steel (FHS), a subsidiary of Formosa Plastics, admitted on June 30 that it caused the disaster.

Representatives from local departments in Quang Binh, in a meeting held on July 4, estimated the province’s seafood and salt production industry have lost about $56 million. The figure is expected to increase to $103 million by the end of 2016.

The tourism industry also took a severe hit, losing $62 million in three months, while the number is expected to reach $76 million by December.

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The tourism industry has taken a severe hit from the mass fish deaths. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Tao

Quang Binh authorities estimate the total damage in 2016 is VND4 trillion, without taking into consideration the long-term damage to the marine environment and fisheries resources. They also evaluated that fishing output has decreased by 40-60 percent.

Nguyen Huu Hoai, chairman of Quang Binh People’s Committee, said the incident has seriously affected local citizens.

Hoai has asked local agencies to assess the damage to the aquaculture and tourism industries in an "accurate, lawful and fair manner" and to calculate the potential long-term damage.

A 22-member council was formed recently in Quang Binh to assess the damage caused to the province by FHS. The council is in charge of calculating the exact damage caused by the environmental disaster and looking at how to recover and stabilize local production.

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