Fish need water

Thaveeporn Vasavakul

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Photograph: Dzổn

The Vietnamese marine die-off of April 2016 is an environmental disaster of unprecedented scale. In Vietnam’s four central provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue, millions of dead fish reportedly washed ashore, choked coastal waterways and blanketed the sea floor along more than 200 kilometres of shoreline. Local fishing and tourism were severely damaged, and scientists estimate another fifty years will be required to restore the marine ecosystem of the nation’s central coast. The Formosa Ha Tinh Steel complex, owned by Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics Corporation, quickly emerged as the disaster’s likely source, a suspicion confirmed in late June when Formosa admitted its mistakes and agreed to pay $US500 million in economic and ecological damages.

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