Company suspected of being behind the deaths of untold numbers of fish on the central and north-central coast has imported significant amounts of chemicals in recent times, all legally.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai told a government press conference on May 5 that Formosa, the company suspected of causing the mass fish deaths along the central and north-central coast, has imported 384 tonnes of chemicals in 103 types since 2015.
This year it has imported 224 tonnes of chemicals in 43 types to date, Mr. Hai said, all legally.
He explained that such chemicals are used to clean metal surfaces, kill bacteria, process water, and stabilize pH levels in water.
It has used 51 tonnes of chemicals this year and has 248 tonnes in stock.
A spokesman from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) likened these imports to importing snake venom, which is a toxin. Toxins are poisonous and it is important to ensure they are used for the right purposes. Formosa therefore has a responsibility to use these chemicals in the right way so that the environment is protected. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) is examining how Formosa uses these chemicals and will report to the government.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has sent two inspection teams to study Formosa’s operations.
Chairman of the Office of the Government Mai Tien Dung also said that this is the first time mass fish deaths have occurred over a wide area and Vietnam lacks the experience to address such a situation.
As soon as the disaster happened the Prime Minister directed MoNRE to identify the causes and also invited foreign experts to join the investigation.