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​Lobsters die en masse in Vietnam's south-central bay, oxygen depletion suspected

Friday, May 26, 2017, 13:47 GMT+7

Over 10,000 lobsters raised in Xuan Dai Bay in south-central Phu Yen Province have been found dead over the past two days, with oxygen depletion likely to be the cause.

The aquatic hypoxia might have been the result of long days of sun followed by a sudden downpour on Wednesday afternoon, a local leader said.

According to Nguyen Huu Dai, deputy head of Song Cau Town’s vet station in Phu Yen Province, around 10,000 lobsters that were about to be harvested were killed in the incident.

At the market price of between VND800,000 (US$35) and VND1.2 million ($53) per kilogram of lobster, farm owners affected by the mass deaths have lost roughly tens of billions of dong, Dai said. (VND10 billion = $440,530)

“Our family has about 1,100 lobsters in our farm, which had been scheduled for sale to merchants on Thursday,” said Tran Thi Quang, a local lobster farm owner.

“Who could have thought that they would all turn up dead like this.”

According to Luong Cong Tuan, deputy chairman of Song Cau Town, continuous sunny days followed by a sudden thunderstorm on Wednesday afternoon might have depleted the bottom water level of oxygen, leading to the mass lobster deaths.

“Similar occurrences are reported every year when long days of sun couple with a heavy downpour,” Tuan said.

“We have advised farm owners to raise their lobster cages higher, as oxygen levels at the bottom of the bay may still not be enough for the animals to survive.”

“Another concern right now is that the rainy season may cause water in Xuan Dai Bay to become freshened, leading to more lobster deaths due to freshwater shock,” Tuan added.

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