Vietnamese coastal communities need our help!

Coastal disaster in Central Vietnam

Recently, unknown event has led to a mass of dead fish washing up along the central coasts of Vietnam. A few days ago, more than 200 people were seriously poisoned after eating the fish in one community in central Vietnam (Ha Tinh, Quang Tri, Quang Binh, Hue Province). The people and authorities in Ha Tinh and several neighbouring provinces such as Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue are not certain what is behind the mass fish death along the coastline and at local fish farms. Due to this unprecedented event, the communities have found themselves in a situation of dire need. They have reached out to TBTI and are asking for urgent help from experts that can assist them in investigating the root causes of this environmental disaster. We are calling for anyone who can lend their expertise and/or come to Vietnam as soon as possible to address the issue and see what can be done to mitigate the situation.

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You can help the people of these communities in the following way:
  • If you know experts who could come to the community and investigate the cause of this situation, please forward this message to them and let them know they can contact us at toobigtoignore@mun.ca.
  • Send any relevant information, such as the names and contacts of the people and organizations that might help these communities to  toobigtoignore@mun.ca
  • Share this link so that we can reach as many people as possible
   

Additional information

In this unusual occurrence, rare and deep sea species have washed up such as batoids, groupers, and humphead snappers, which are of high value to the local fishing community. A few days ago, more than 200 people were seriously poisoned after eating the fish in one community in central Vietnam (Ha Tinh, Quang Tri, Quang Binh, Hue Province). Farm-raised shrimp and clams also died after farmers in these localities pumped seawater into their ponds. Local fishers have been burying hundreds of kilograms of fish every day and have been warned not to consume the fish or feed it to livestock in fear of chemical contamination. The people and authorities in Ha Tinh and several neighbouring provinces such as Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue are not certain what is behind the mass fish death along the coastline and at local fish farms. One of the explanations is that these events are the result of water pollution which has spread from Ha Tinh province, which is home to many industrial plants including a multi-billion dollar steel plant run by Formosa. Environmental experts and officials have been sent to investigate this crisis but more help is required. Some locals believe that the situation might be caused by a large wastewater discharge system deep under the sea. However, none of this has been confirmed, leaving the community anxious and in fear of what is to come. For more information about this situation, see the following links: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/apr/21/vietnam-investigates-mass-fish-deaths-pollution http://www.thanhniennews.com/society/more-unusual-fish-deaths-in-central-vietnam-spark-concern-61394.html http://www.thanhniennews.com/society/unusual-deaths-of-fish-reported-on-vietnams-central-coast-61346.html