A large number of fishes raised by local people in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta have gone belly up, causing financial damage of nearly VND25 billion (US$1.12 million), ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.
Mass fish death has been discovered in the cages planted by farmers in Cai Vung River, a branch of Tien River connecting Hong Ngu District, Dong Thap Province and Phu Tan District, An Giang Province.
The part of the river in which the fishes died covers an area of 9km, raising local people’s concern over the possibility that the river has been poisoned or heavily polluted.
The total weight of dead fishes in Phu Tan District, which were raised in 120 local fish cages, was measured at up to 630 metric tons, costing the farmers over VND20 billion ($897,400), Tran Anh Thu, Director of An Giang Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said on Saturday afternoon.
Meanwhile in Hong Ngu District, the death of fishes weighing a total of 150 metric tons in 54 fish cages caused the financial damage of VND4.5 billion ($201,915).
The Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Environmental Police and competent authorities in An Giang have tested the water in the river and discovered that the content of several components, namely Nitrate and Phosphate, were higher than the average level, while that of dissolved oxygen was lower.
“No fish can live in the river with such conditions. The amount of Nitrate and Phosphate can only be the result of human’s use of certain chemicals,” Director Thu assessed.
The factory of Toan Cau Company in An Giang Province is seen in this photo. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Local fish farmers considered that the incident happened as the river was polluted by waste water produced from activities of the factory of Toan Cau Company, a local rice processing firm.
The incident is still under investigation by competent authorities to reach the final conclusion.