Vietnamese State’s officials strive to ease anxiety of the environmental disaster

01/09/2016
Kết quả hình ảnh cho biển miền trung đã an toàn

MOST beaches in four of Vietnam’s central provinces have now been declared safe for swimming and fish farming, heard a conference held in Quang Tri Province on August 22 by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in cooperation with the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, Quang Tri local officials and the Vietnam National University, Hanoi.
Professor Mai Trong Nhuan, who headed a team of Vietnamese and foreign scientists commissioned by the government to study the impact of the disaster, told that the chemicals, including cyanide and carbolic acids, are becoming more dilute, chemicals and substances including phenol and iron are at permissible levels in line with the nation’s standards QCVN 10-MT 2015/BTNMT. He said the coral reefs are recovering as the presence of the toxic substance has reduced by 90 percent in samples taken in July and August.
“Aquatic creatures are returning and the ecosystem is recovering,” he said at a conference held in Quang Tri by the environment ministry and the Vietnam Institute for Science and Technology.
The latest study found that contamination in most parts of the affected areas were now safe for swimming, aquaculture and aquatic conservation activities. However, it requires more time for the Ministry of Health to study and announce whether seafood caught in the waters off the provinces are safe for eating or not.
Test results between late April and August by the Ministry of Health showed that pollutant concentrations in seafood of the four central provinces dropped steadily. Nhuan said the ministries of health and agriculture-rural development would monitor the quality of seafood caught in safe waters informed by the agriculture ministry. 
Trinh Van Tuyen, director of the Institute of Environmental Technology, told the conference that before the cause of mass fish deaths was brought to light, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment had collected seawater samples in Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue and some other localities for testing. After the cause was clarified, the research was scaled down and focused on the four central provinces. He noted the study method was adjusted and modern equipment was used.   
Tuyen said results showed that seawater quality has improved and pollutant concentrations are now below the allowable levels at present. Most of the toxic substances have fallen significantly but further monitoring is still needed, he said. Tuyen proposed keeping a close watch on the Formosa steel complex in Ha Tinh Province to prevent a repeat. He suggested the environment ministry to set up automatic systems in the provinces to check seawater.
The information is important as it helps people know about the safety level of seawater in Ha Tinh, Quang Tri, Quang Binh and Thua Thien-Hue provinces, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha told the conference held to announce scientific reports after over 100 tons of fish were found dead along the shores of the provinces in April.
Earlier, the Vietnam unit of Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics Group admitted responsibility for the mass fish deaths and agreed to pay over US$500 million in compensation. The reasons and culprit of the most severe environmental incident in Vietnam were made public but Vietnamese have since been concerned about the safety of seawater and seafood in the provinces. The incident has strongly hurt economic growth and the livelihoods of many local people. This worst environmental disaster has devastated the fishing and tourism industries in the region.
The government said in a report to the National Assembly in July that the disaster harmed the livelihoods of more than 200,000 people, including 41,000 fishermen. An estimated 115 tonnes of fish washed ashore along more than 200km of the central coast in April, the report said. The pollution sparked rare protests across the country. Formosa Plastics’s US$10.6 billion steel complex in Ha Tinh province includes a steel plant, a power plant and a deep sea port, and is one of the largest foreign investments in Vietnam.
Nguyen Van Hung, Party chief of Quang Tri Province, said documents released at the conference would help the locality and the other three provinces draw up plans to support people and their production.
One positive sign is that Vietnamese officials have pioneered in taking exemplary actions to assert that swimming and seafood are safe amid growing concern over the death since early April of large numbers of fish along the central coast. People can see on media  a lot of photographs showed leaders, such as Danang’s Party secretary Nguyen Xuan Anh and chairman Huynh Duc Tho in the water at My Khe beach on May 1, or recently Minister of  Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha swam in Quang Tri beach. They were also seen eating fish during their field trip.
As part of their concerted effort to help local fishermen who have been hit by mass fish deaths and woo scared tourists to beaches. The move of the leaders aims to convince consumers that seafood caught offshore is safe.
         It is understandable that consumers are afraid of eating fish because they fear they might eat the dead fish washed ashore. What they have done deserves commending and enhancing. People should consider not to worry about the disaster, researches and tests showed the quality of water samples collected at beaches in the north-central province is now at safe levels. It is now time to recover our tourism sector and economy and help our fellow fishermen./.
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All comments [ 10 ]


Gentle Moon 1/9/16 13:46

After the cause was clarified, the research was scaled down and focused on the four central provinces. The study method was adjusted and modern equipment was used.

LawrenceSamuels 1/9/16 13:51

Formosa also promised to improve its technology to guarantee that the wastewater it produces has been fully treated before being released into the environment.

Jane smartnic 1/9/16 13:53

It's a happy information for all of us, let go beaches!

yobro yobro 1/9/16 13:54

Marine life, including sea water and sea-bed sediment, is generally within Vietnamese safety standards for aquaculture farming, fishing, and tourism activities.

John Smith 1/9/16 14:02

According to the Health Ministry, levels of chemical residue found in seafood caught along the coastline of the four affected provinces have gradually fallen.

Deck Hero14 1/9/16 14:03

Harmful chemicals in the sea water seem to have dissipated, but some pollutants such as phenol remain at relatively high concentrations, said Trinh Van Tuyen, the director of the Institute of Environment Technology.

MaskOf Zero 1/9/16 14:03

Vietnam's government said toxic industrial waste from the Taiwanese-owned steel plant was responsible for the mass fish deaths that have ravaged local fisheries, disrupted people’s lives and hit tourism in the area, destroying the livelihoods of thousands of people in the region.

Love Peace 1/9/16 14:04

There's a positive thing in these, people around the country are more careful about safety of all kinds of food, meaning they wash or boil even vegetables more than ever.

Pack Cassiopian 1/9/16 14:05

Leaders of Danang City and Ha Tinh Province have taken exemplary actions to assert that swimming and seafood are safe amid growing concern over the death since early April of large numbers of fish along the central coast.

Only Solidar 1/9/16 14:06

As part of their concerted effort to help local fishermen who have been hit by mass fish deaths and woo scared tourists to beaches, the State's leaders and their family members went swimming and enjoyed seafood during the national holiday on the weekend.

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