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Red tide, chemicals caused mass fish deaths, government says

Released at: 10:58, 28/04/2016

Red tide, chemicals caused mass fish deaths, government says

International supervision will be called for if considered necessary.

by Luong Nhi

Red tide and chemical toxics in wastewater have been identified as the two main factors behind the massive fish deaths along the north-central and central coastline, Deputy Minister of National Resources and Environment Vo Tuan Nhan told a press conference on April 27 in Hanoi.

This is a complex problem, he said, so finding answers quickly is a reasonable expectation. Nonetheless, it will take time to investigate and come to the correct conclusions, and in some cases this takes years.

After a preliminary investigation scientists agreed that chemical toxics from activities on land and at sea caused the fish deaths.

Besides, red tide, a natural phenomenon caused by the blooming of algae, was also a factor, the scientists agree. A huge number of algae not only changes seawater but also deplete oxygen supplies and release toxins, which will cause illness in people and animals.

There has been no conclusion made connecting the Formosa Ha Tinh steel plant and the fish deaths, Deputy Minister Nhan said. Environmental parameters were not exceeded, he emphasized.

It is necessary to have research organizations clarify related factors, he went on. The Ministry of Science and Technology will be the coordinating agency in working with the scientists or perhaps even calling for international supervision if deemed necessary.

The Deputy Minister said the Ministry will never accept environmental damage in the pursuit of economic growth.

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