Ha Tinh: shrimp hatcheries kill fish, pollute environment

Created 14 March 2019
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Local authorities have imposed heavy fines and forced polluting aquaculture establishments to shut down, but new establishments continue to open in Ha Tinh province.

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New shrimp farming establishments continue to open

The central province has 6,793 hectares of aquaculture area and 17,975 farming facilities. These include 17,523 surface-water farming facilities, 427 farms in cages, and 22 breeder production units. 

The high profits have prompted locals to develop shrimp ponds and apply all types of farming, from intensive, semi-intensive, and extensive to on-sand farming.

The on-sand shrimp farming alone has attracted 24 companies and cooperatives, two experimental farms and 65 households. The largest on-sand shrimp farming areas are located in the districts of Cam Xuyen (133.26 hectares) and Thach Ha (133 hectares).

The on-sand shrimp farming alone has attracted 24 companies and cooperatives, two experimental farms and 65 households. The largest on-sand shrimp farming areas are located in the districts of Cam Xuyen (133.26 hectares) and Thach Ha (133 hectares).

An experienced shrimp farmer said he has been working in this field for more than 10 years and has earned big money from the career. 

“The environmental conditions were good, water was clean, and shrimp was strong,” he said.

However, shrimp hatcheries have become a risky business. The shrimp farming area has expanded. More shrimp farming facilities have been licensed, while the measures to protect the environment have not been respected. 

As a result, the environment has become seriously polluted and shrimp have died en masse.

Using prohibited chemicals, ignoring the measures to protect the environment, and refusing to build waste water treatment works, farmers in Ha Tinh are poisoning their living environment and damaging their livelihood. 

Waste water from shrimp ponds have poisoned surface water, causing mass fish deaths.

Warned of the consequences, farmers still throw sludge directly into canals and discharge waste water into irrigation canals or the sea. 

Rivers and arroyos, which have to receive untreated waste, including leftover feed, sulfur and chemicals residues, are no longer clean and safe.

The Ha Tinh Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, which made inspection tours to on-sand shrimp farms, discovered that many farms did not have ponds where waste water is filtered before entering the environment. 

Only a few shrimp farming areas, including the 53 hectare cultivation area in Cam Hoa commune, have concentrated waste water collection systems.

A provincial official affirmed that agencies have recently tightened control over shrimp farming to prevent environmental problems. 

In August 2018, Ha Tinh imposed a fine of VND435 million on Tien Dat Construction JSC for violations of environmental regulations. 

The director of the provincial environment department, Ho Huy Thanh, said his department would inspect all the shrimp farming facilities in the locality to be sure that
the facilities are observing regulations on environmental protection.

Nam Mai

Source: VNP  - Bridge

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