POLICIES ON SEA AND ISLAND

Policy to support affected fishermen proves effectiveness

TTXVN-VNA | 30-12-2016 | 16:57 |

Compensation to affected people in the marine environment accident (Photo: VNA)

Quang Tri (VNA) – A policy supporting fishermen affected by marine environmental incident has proved its effectiveness.

 

In the central province of Quang Tri, the first phase of distributing Formosa Ha Tinh’s compensation to coastal residents for the mass fish deaths the company caused in early 2016 was finished at the end of November.

 

Under Decision 1880/QD-TTg on the compensation levels for damage from the environmental incident caused by the Taiwanese-invested Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Company, which was approved by the Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on September 29,  seven affected sectors in the central coastal provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, and Thua Thien – Hue are provided with compensation, namely seafood harvesting, aquatic breeding, salt production, coastal seafood business activities, fishing logistics, coastal tourism services, and seafood stockpiling and purchasing. 

 

Quang Tri provided more than 202 billion VND (8.9 million USD) for Vinh Linh, Gio Linh, Trieu Phong and Hai Lang districts to distribute compensation.

 The sum was given to 1,979 boat owners and 1,579 crew members in 14 coastal communes and towns. Local recipients said they will spend the money to buy fishing tools, upgrade boats, and invest in cultivation and livestock farming.

 

 Quang Tri has more than 8,000 households with nearly 45,000 people and over 2,800 boats from the four districts severely affected by the mass fish deaths.

 In late June, Taiwan-invested Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Limited Company admitted responsibility for the incident, which affected the central provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and ThuaThien-Hue. It pledged 11.5 trillion VND (500 million USD) in compensation.The compensation is based on the level of damage of the sectors. 

 The Ministry of Finance transferred 3 trillion VND (134 million USD) to the localities in the initial phase. Of the amount, Quang Binh got 1.1 trillion VND (48.5 million USD); Ha Tinh, one trillion VND (44.1 million USD); Quang Tri, 500 billion VND (22 million USD), and ThuaThien-Hue, 400 billion VND (17.6 million USD).

The decision also specifies compensation for aquatic product raising in salt and brackish water. 

Local agencies and localities have assessed and made a list of victims to ensure that the compensation is conducted publicly, transparently and equally, helping locals stabilise their lives and resume their production. 

At present, sea fish is priced at only one third of the level before the sea environment incident. Even, fishing output declines to one fourth of the amount caught before.

 

Given the hardship challenging fishermen, local authorities have provided a number of means of support to them. Of which, residents were guided to shift to farming, planting, doing business and services.

 

Along with these, fishermen are likely to access preferential loans to go out to sea and develop fishery logistics.

 

Statistics by the Quang Tri People’s Committee indicate that the environmental incident by the Taiwanese-invested Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Company has caused huge damage to local ecosystem, aquaculture resources as well as severe influences on local residents’ production and living.

 

In 2016, the total output of aquatic products decreased by 38 percent year-on-year while the number of arrivals to the province down 29 percent. Hence, resuming production, restructuring the economy and generating jobs for locals are becoming the most pressing issues.

 

According to Ho Xuan Thuy, Vice Chairman of the Gio Hai Communal People’s Committee, 312 local fishermen working on 164 boats and 10 deep sea fishing vessels received their first-phase compensation package of nearly 16.4 billion dong (around 745,000 USD).

 

Currently, the local authorities are paying attention to directing their locals to shift to different activities of production such as farming and planting./.





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