Farmers sue 13 seafood plants over fish deaths in southern Vietnam

By Toan Dao   July 10, 2016 | 11:14 am GMT+7

One company has been let off after agreeing to pay compensation.

Fish farm owners in the southern province of Ba Ria Vung Tau said they are determined to file a lawsuit against 13 seafood processing plants accused of discharging unprocessed wastewater and causing the deaths of their fish on the Cha Va River.

The 33 farmers have hired lawyers to proceed with the legal case after the plants refused to pay compensation, the Voice of Vietnam reported on July 9.

During the second round of negotiations on July 8, the farmers decided to withdraw their complaint against the privately-owned My Suong after the company paid VND21 million ($930) in compensation. My Suong discharged the least amount of unprocessed wastewater into the river in Long Son Commune, Vung Tau City during September last year.

The Vung Tau People’s Court is scheduled to invite the 13 companies and the farmers for a third round of negotiations on July 18.

The dead fish in a Cha Va farm. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Mai

Dead fish at a Cha Va River farm. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Mai

In the first round on June 22, the plants refused to admit the fish deaths in the river were caused by wastewater they had discharged, the Ba Ria Vung Tau Newspaper reported July 8.

The farmers have demanded the 13 plants pay VND13.8 billion in compensation for their losses.

In September last year, fish raised in the farms on the Cha Va River died en masse. The owners believed their fish were killed by unprocessed wastewater discharged by local seafood processing plants. 

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