Vietnam environment ministry says not to hide information about mass fish deaths

By Pham Huong   May 25, 2016 | 05:10 pm PT
Vietnam’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said Wednesday the ministry does not cover the truth about the mysterious mass fish deaths in the central region.

“We know people are looking to hear about reasons behind the mass fish deaths in the four central provinces. It is not true to say that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment hides information about the incident. We provide what we have. Each announcement should be based on scientific evidence,” Vice Minister Nguyen Linh Ngoc told a briefing May 25.

On May 14, Vice Minister of Science and Technology Pham Cong Tac said the authorities have collected sufficient scientific evidence about the causes for the fish deaths and will announce their findings soon. But more than a month has passed since the first dead fish was found and it remains a mystery until now.

Since early April, tons of fish have washed up dead in the central coastal provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien - Hue. On April 27, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said there are two possible reasons for the mass fish deaths.

One is toxic chemicals released by human activities. The other is an abnormal natural phenomenon that causes algae in the water to bloom at an accelerated rate, commonly known as a “red tide”.

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