Ha Tinh to provide $33,600 in assistance for farmers hit by mass fish deaths

By Duc Hung   April 29, 2016 | 03:05 pm GMT+7

The central coastal province of Ha Tinh has announced it will compensate seafood farmers affected by the recent mass fish deaths an initial VND750 million ($33,600) from the province’s budget reserves.

Phan Duy Vinh, deputy chairman of Ky Anh's People’s Committee, told VnExpress that 180 tons of rice has also been allocated for households in the communes of Ky Loi and Ky Ha.

Ky Anh town has five communes severely affected by the recent mass fish deaths, including Ky Loi, Ky Ha, Ky Ninh, Ky Phuong and Ky Nam. Ky Thinh commune has also suffered from the unexplained phenomenon.

In total, around 2,000 households have been affected. On average, each household will receive 22kg of rice to use over 45 days.

“This arrangement is provisional; we’ll provide additional assistance at a later point,” Vinh said.

For the past three weeks, Ky Phuong commune fishermens boats could not go out to the see due to the mass fish deaths. Photo by Duc Hung

For the past three weeks, fishing boats in Ky Phuong commune have been left sitting on the beach due to the mass fish deaths. Photo by Duc Hung

Among the households, 35 fishermen and seafood farmers who have been directly affected will receive compensation as a percentage of the total damage they have suffered.

The mass fish deaths in central Vietnam were first reported in fish cages at sea near Ha Tinh’s Vung Ang ward at the 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. In Thua Thien-Hue alone, 35 tons of fish have died on commercial farms.

According to a statement by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on April 27, there are two hypotheses to explain the mass fish deaths. One is toxic chemicals released by human activities. Another is an abnormal natural phenomenon that causes algae to rapidly bloom, commonly known as a “red tide”.