Vietnamese fish farmers win $570,000 compensation for mass fish deaths

By VnExpress   December 23, 2016 | 01:43 pm GMT+7
Vietnamese fish farmers win $570,000 compensation for mass fish deaths
Dead fish from a farm on the Cha Va River in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan

A group of 11 seafood companies in southern Vietnam have been ordered to recompense families whose fish were killed en masse last year.

A court in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau on Thursday ordered 11 seafood companies to pay local fish farmers more than VND13 billion ($571,200) as compensation for sewage discharge that killed their fish en masse last year.

Each of 33 families will receive between VND50 million and VND2.1 billion, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

Tons of fish died at private farms on the Cha Va River between September 6 and 14 last year, causing losses estimated at nearly $800,000.

Many farmers held protests, taking dead fish to a seafood processor and to the Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province government office.

In May, the families lodged complaints against 14 seafood processors after investigation from the Institute of Environment and Natural Resources concluded that their untreated waste had polluted the river since 1998.

The farmers dropped their case against three of the companies following pre-trial negotiation.

Vietnam has been beset by pollution scandals lately, prompting reports of mass fish deaths from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi.

In April, an estimated 70 tons of dead fish washed ashore in four central provinces. Taiwanese steel firm Formosa eventually admitted to discharging untreated waste into the sea. The government in the process of handing out a $500 million compensation package.

Nearly 70 tons of dead fish were collected from Ho Chi Minh City’s Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal in May after downpours flushed waste from sewers into waterways.

Around 200 tons of dead fish were collected from Hanoi’s West Lake in October.

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