Central provinces inspect seafood safety daily and buy offshore catch

By Lam Le   May 1, 2016 | 10:04 am GMT+7

Four central provinces affected by mass fish deaths are to inspect seafood safety once to twice daily as requested by National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department (NAFIQAD).

Samples of seafood caught inshore and offshore is to be taken from fish ports. They will be tested for heavy metals (mercury, lead, cadmium and arsenic) and salmonella.

Meanwhile, Quang Binh, one of four affected provinces, has already established a point to buy offshore seafood from fishermen, as requested yesterday by Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung. A hotline has also been set up to coordinate the response to the mysterious mass fish deaths.

The mass fish deaths in central Vietnam have been reported since beginning of April. As of April 25, 70 tons of mostly demersal fish have died in Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue, according to official reports from the provinces.

Local fishermen have since faced problems selling their produce as consumers fear the fish might be poisoned.

Investigation on the cause of the phenomenon is ongoing.