Vietnamese government offers rice to fishermen following mass fish deaths

By Le Chi   May 17, 2016 | 01:33 am PT
The government has pledged to provide rice for people in central provinces whose lives have been badly affected by the recent mass fish deaths, according to a Finance Ministry report.

Each local resident, including fishermen, fishing boat owners and aquatic farmers, will receive 15 kilograms of rice per month.

The support, which will last for six weeks, comes after the Prime Minster ordered his cabinet to set up working groups to help local fishermen and aquatic farmers who have suffered from the disaster.

The government has taken 800 tons of rice from the national reserves to support people in the provinces of Quang Binh and Quang Tri.

Vietnam’s central coastal provinces have been hit hard by a mysterious disaster which has killed fish at both aquatic farms and in coastal waters.

The fish mass deaths started a month ago in the central province of Ha Tinh, about 400 kilometers south of Hanoi. Fish raised in farms near Ha Tinh Province’s Vung Ang Port were found dead on April 6, with more dead fish subsequently washing up on local beaches.

The problem quickly spread to the nearby provinces of Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien – Hue along a 200km stretch of coast.

As of April 25, around 70 tons of fish had reportedly washed up in these provinces.

The government admitted that it has been too slow to respond to the incident due to a lack of experience.

Vietnam has asked international experts to help local scientists and government agencies to determine the cause of the fish deaths.

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