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25 tonnes of farm-raised fish die en masse in Vietnam’s Central Highlands region

25 tonnes of farm-raised fish die en masse in Vietnam’s Central Highlands region

Saturday, June 22, 2024, 18:00 GMT+7
25 tonnes of farm-raised fish die en masse in Vietnam’s Central Highlands region
Local farmers use small boats to contain dead bagrid catfish, which recently died en masse in the Ialy hydroelectric reservoir, located in Vietnam’s Central Highlands province of Kon Tum. Photo: N.L

Authorities of Sa Thay District in Vietnam's Central Highlands province of Kon Tum are coping with a mass fish die-off, with 25 metric tons of bagrid catfish, worth some VND3.8 billion (US$149,300), found dead in the Ialy hydroelectric reservoir on Thursday.

Dinh Trong Lich, chairman of the administration of the district’s Ya Ly Commune, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Friday that the commune authorities were aiding the affected fish farmers to remove and sell off the lifeless fish to cut losses.

Four fish-farming households in the commune on Thursday reported to local authorities that their farm-raised bagrid catfish began going belly up, Lich said.

The mass fish kill wreaked havoc on four fish cages owned by Vo Dinh Son, with around 5.5 metric tons of dead fish.

Four fish cages owned by Vu Thi Nguyet experienced the same fate as all 12 metric tons of fish died.

Meanwhile, the harvest time was expected to come in the next two months.

Up to now, authorities had arranged trucks to transport some five metric tons of dead fish to retail venues.

As for the spoiled fish that could not be removed timely, they would be sold as fish compost.

Fish farmers hit by a mass die-off of bagrid catfish in the Ialy hydroelectric reservoir, located in Vietnam’s Central Highlands province of Kon Tum, tried to sell as many dead fish as they could to reduce losses, but they failed to sell off all of the 25 metric tons of affected fish. Photo: N.L
Fish farmers hit by a mass die-off of bagrid catfish in the Ialy hydroelectric reservoir, located in Vietnam’s Central Highlands province of Kon Tum, tried to sell as many dead fish as they could to reduce losses, but they failed to sell off all of the 25 metric tons of the affected fish. Photo: N.L

The provincial Department of Animal Health also collected water samples from the reservoir for further tests to determine the main cause of the massive fish death.

Dinh Viet Thien, deputy director of Ialy Hydropower Company, the operator of the Ialy hydropower plant built on the Se San River in Kon Tum’s Sa Thay District and neighboring Gia Lai Province’s Chupad District, told Tuoi Tre on Friday that the company was aware of the mass fish kill and worked to find the reason behind the incident.

The company attributed the mass fish die-off to a heavy downpour on Wednesday morning which resulted in the dwindling amount of oxygen in the water.

He added that the water in the Ialy reservoir has almost reached the dead level and the amount of oxygen in the water might be lower than normal.

A report released by the Ya Ly Commune administration showed that from Tuesday to Thursday this week, the rapidly-receding water levels in the Ialy hydropower reservoir along with heavy rainfall resulted in turbidity in the reservoir and a declining amount of oxygen.

The bagrid catfish, weighing between 1.3 and 1.8 kilograms each, die en masse while the harvest time will come in the next two months. Photo: N.L
The bagrid catfish, weighing between 1.3 and 1.8 kilograms each, die en masse while the harvest time will come in the next two months. Photo: N.L

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Hong Ngan - Tan Luc / Tuoi Tre News

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