Mystery poison blamed for mass fish deaths along Vietnam's central coast

By Hoang Tao, Vuong Anh   April 20, 2016 | 01:23 am PT
Mystery poison blamed for mass fish deaths along Vietnam's central coast
Local authority concluded that the fish died due to the toxic elements in water : Duc Hung
Water contaminated with toxic elements is to blame for the large number of dead fish that have washed up along Vietnam's central coastline in the last few days, according to a report by Quang Binh province's agriculture department.

The report, which was issued on April 20, concluded that pollution in Ha Tinh province was to blame for the thousands of deep-sea and prize fish deaths along the central coast. Ocean currents had swept the polluted water from Ha Tinh was down to southern areas, killing tons of fish, the report said.

Through analysis of the water and dead fish samples, results showed that the “mass fish deaths were not due to bacterial pathogens or viruses but from toxic elements in the marine environment”.

Deputy director of the department Tran Dinh Du said they “have yet to find a specific element in the water that is killing the fish”. The department said people should stop pumping water from the sea to their farm ponds until the problem is resolved.


On April 10, thousands of fish were found washed up in Quang Dong commune, and the phenomenon gradually spread south over the next few days. This is the first time this has happened in central Vietnam, raising concerns among local fishermen.

An aquaculture expert in Quang Tri province said the poison may have come from a heavy metal element, in which it case it would sink to the sea bed and only effect fish that inhabit deep waters.

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