A total of 1,119 tonnes of fish raised in cages along the Cai Vung River died from February 3 to 9, according to the latest statistics released by the An Giang and Dong Thap provinces’ agricultural sector on Monday.
The Cai Vung River is the natural boundary of the southern provinces of An Giang and Dong Thap.
Tran Anh Thu, Director of the An Giang Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, told the Lao dong (Labour) newspaper that initial tests showed that the fish died due to environmental pollution.
“The extent of pollution will be declared by the environmental sector, and the agricultural sector will focus on setting up plans to support the farmers”, Thu said.
An Giang Province suffered losses of 655 tonnes, and Dong Thap Province suffered losses of 464 tonnes.
Nguyen Van Thanh, Deputy Head of the Hong Ngu Aquatic Products Station in Dong Thap Province, said it was the first time local farmers were hit with the problem.
Huynh Van Lam, owner of about 30 tonnes of fish in Phu Thanh Commune in Hong Ngu District, said traders sold him the fish for VND45,000 (USVND44,745) per kilogramme.
But most of his fish died after just one night, so his family fell on hard times.
As a first step, An Giang Province plans to support farmers who experienced fish kills by giving them VND1,000 (VND895) per kilogramme of fish. The Hong Ngu District People’s Committee in Dong Thap Province will give each household VND2-5 million (VND1,991,153-220) as initial financial assistance.
The two provinces will issue supportive policies in the coming days after reaching an agreement with the financial and banking sector based on the present laws.
The funds will cover expenses for relocating the cages and breeding fish, he said.