Scientific investigation uncovers cause of mass fish death

by VTV401 July 2016 Last updated at 18:37 PM

VTV.vn - The cause of the mass fish death in four central provinces was officially announced at a conference on Thursday in Hanoi.

Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corporation also admitted liability for the incident. The result was reached thanks to investigations and studies of governmental agencies and scientists both in Vietnam and other countries. The process is objective and involved the participation of many parties and stages.

 At the press conference, ministries reiterated that the mass fish death was a serious and complicated issue so it required scientific examinations, and objective processes. Results were publicised only when there was enough evidence about the cause and perpetrator.

Tran Hong Ha, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment said: "We were divided into three groups. The first group was in charge of a complicated and important task and consisted of more than 100 oceanographic and environment scientists. They collected samples of sediment and ephemera, then analysed satellite images and retrospective incidents. The process was dangerous and took weeks for the initial results, which went through examinations of international experimentalists. And of course, we consulted scientists from other countries".

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the compound from the waste water absorbed metal elements in the sea and mixed with phenol, causing fish to die along the sea near the four central provinces. Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corporation, Hà Tĩnh Industrial Zone and Vũng Áng 1 Thermal Power Plant were investigated. An energy audit report showed that phenol and cyanide were released from the Formosa Corporation.

Chu Ngoc Anh, Minister of Science and Technology said: "Scientists worked day and night, used various methods and enjoyed the support of forces inside and outside the country. The final result was the outcome of cooperation between scientists from the US, Israel, Japan and many more".

The environment incident that happened in Chiba City in Japan in 2004 uncovered the cause 12 months after it happened, as a lot of processes were required to ensure the accuracy of the result. The government has ordered close monitoring of waste discharge activities to avoid environmental incidents in the future.

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