Hundreds of fishermen yet to receive compensation after mass fish deaths

By Dac Duc   June 8, 2016 | 08:06 am GMT+7
Hundreds of fishermen yet to receive compensation after mass fish deaths
Tons of dead fish have been found along Vietnam's central coast. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Hung
Hundreds of fishermen in Loc Vinh commune of central Thua Thien-Hue province have not received the VND5 million compensation promised by the local authority after the mass fish deaths in April disrupted production and daily lives.

Tran Phuong, a fisherman from Phu Loc Ward, Loc Vinh Commune said he and many other households have yet to receive the compensation promised by the government last month to help those affected by the recent mass fish deaths along Vietnam's central coast.

According to Phuong, so far, people in Phu Loc have received 22.5 kilograms of rice per person, which the ward authority directly handed to every household. Some fishermen went back to the sea for fishing though the productivity hasn’t been the same.

“Some households are no longer interested in the sea, they sold all of their fishing tools and looked for another means to earn a living,” Phuong said while hoping the compensation will come soon.

Bach Van Khai, head of Agriculture Department in Phu Loc, said the money has already been handed to all communes, including Loc Vinh. This commune has a total of 509 vessels that are eligible to receive the total support of more than VND2 billion.

On June 7, Chairman of Loc Vinh commune Le Cong Minh said the process of listing and verifying all affected households has been slow since the commune received the first half of the VND2 billion sent down from higher authority.

This has led to fishermen not receiving the money, said Minh. “We are going to withdraw the rest of the fund this afternoon to distribute to people.”

Earlier, Vice Chairman of Phu Loc ward Ho Trong Cau said the local leaders have reviewed and signed the decision to allocate supporting funds for households affected by the fish kills in accordance with regulations. Most people have already received the support.

“For some reason the support handing to fishermen in Loc Vinh ward has been behind schedule. I will check on this issue immediately, maybe they [Loc Vinh authority] were busy with the general election,” said Cau.

On April 15, Thue Thien - Hue recorded a number of dead fish in Phu Loc Ward. Dead fish then continued to appear on the shore of other wards. 

Initial statistics showed the phenomenon has killed about 50 tons of raised fish in Vietnam, causing roughly VND11 billion worth of damage. 

The cause of mass fish deaths is expected to be announced within this month. 

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