Thua Thien-Hue: Breeds released to restore aquatic resources following Formosa incident

Thursday, 2017-08-31 10:31:44
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Over 30,000 breeds of black tiger shrimps have been released to reproduce aquatic resources in Tam Giang lagoon, Thua Thien-Hue province, August 31. (Credit: VGP)
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NDO – Various breeds were released into the maritime environment in Thua Thien-Hue province on August 31, aimed at restoring the aquatic resources and rehabilitating the fisheries sector for the four central provinces affected by the Formosa maritime environmental incident last year.

The move, initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) in collaboration with the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha and Thua Thien-Hue provincial People's Committee, also affirmed that the sea is safe and aquatic resources have begun their revival, stated MARD Deputy Minister Vu Van Tam at the launch.

It is also the first step among a variety of activities by the fisheries sector in strengthening and rehabilitating fisheries resources for the four provinces in the central region, as well as others suffering from the incident.

Tam urged the relevant organisations, individuals and Buddhist followers to contribute to the rehabilitation of fisheries resources, in the time ahead, towards the goal of protecting the ecological environment and biodiversity. He also asked that the fishermen not use explosives, poisons, electrical sparks or illegal fishing gear.

According to Vice Chairman of Thua Thien-Hue People's Committee Nguyen Van Phuong, as soon as the marine environmental incident occurred, the authorities have directed local coastal branches and districts to check and calculate damages, while implementing compensation packages and providing support for local people in order to restore production and ensure social security.

To date, the marine environment in Thua Thien-Hue has been stable, with aquaculture, fishing and marine tourism being well developed. The environmental quality of seawater and marine sediments in the monitored areas is within the limits of QCVN 10-MT: 2015/BTNMT, meeting the safety criteria for beach activities, water sports and aquaculture and aquatic conservation.

Since the beginning of this year, seafood production in the coastal areas of Thua Thien-Hue has significantly improved when compared to 2016. Fishery production reached 24,355 tonnes, up 20.06%. Aquaculture has also recovered and seafood consumption has gradually stabilised with normal trading as before the incident occurred.

In the months ahead, the province will continue to review and appraise the damage caused by environmental incident for locals that have been declared under the relevant regulations, while guiding local people in using their compensation for the correct purpose in order to restore production and stabilise their lives, as well as strengthening environmental monitoring in general and the marine environment in particular.

* On the same day, in Hue city, the MARD held a seminar to share information on the status of the marine ecosystem and aquatic resources in the areas affected by the marine environmental incident, while discussing recovery solutions to be implemented in the time ahead.

MARD Deputy Minister Tam said that after more than a year since the incident, the government, relevant ministries and organisations have made concerted efforts to restore production and stabilise people's lives in the affected areas.

According to him, in order to restore and rehabilitate the aquatic resources and marine ecosystem in the sea areas affected by Formosa incident, it is necessary to carry out activities aimed at restoring maritime natural resources, such as rehabilitating coral reef ecosystems, constructing artificial habitats for the shelter of marine species, and synchronously carrying out assessment and the monitoring of fisheries resource resilience.

Delegates at the seminar said that the most important is fisheries resource restoration and protection. They suggested that localities implement solutions to develop plans for restoration, create zones for resources protection, implement suitable measures to restrict exploitation during breeding season, and release breeds to reproduce resources for a number of important subjects.

In April last year, a large number of dead fish that washed up along the coast was first discovered in Ky Anh town, Ha Tinh province, which then spread to Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue provinces.

In late June 2016, Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Company accepted responsibility for the mass fish deaths caused by the company discharging waste. The pollution damaged approximately 400 ha of coral and affected over 260,000 people who earn their living by working at sea. The company pledged to compensate over US$500 million, which will be used to support local fishermen in changing their jobs and restoring the polluted maritime environment.