Formosa-scandal report released

The government has released the report evaluating the damages caused by Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Co., Ltd. (HFS), the operator of the $10.5 billion steel and port complex in the central province of Ha Tinh, the culprit behind the mass dying of fish in the four central coastal provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Tri, Quang Binh, and Thua Thien-Hue in April this year.

In general, the break-down has dealt a painful blow to residents’ seafood farming and the four provinces’ budding tourism, as well as the manufacturing sector.

Notably, the fishers had to suspend seafood exploitation in the coastal area, and the seafood volume coming out of the area has decreased by 1,600 tonnes per month ever since.

5.7 hectares of shrimp farming area was impacted, killing nine million bred shrimps and seven tonnes of commercial shrimp.

This includes a total fish farming area of 3 hectares, with 140 tonnes of fish, and a scallop farming area of 6.7 hectares with 67 tonnes of scallop.

Seafood prices decreased by an average of 10-20 per cent compared to the same period in 2015. In addition, seafood consumption experienced a slump.

Seafood exploited within 20 nautical miles became wholly unmarketable and the prices of products exploited within 20 nautical miles of the shores decreased by 30-50 per cent.    

As of now, the unsold seafood volumes in Ha Tinh province have reached over 3,000 tonnes, equalling 85 per cent of the province’s total cold storage capacity.

The figure in Quang Binh province is 2,000 tonnes, equalling 70 per cent of the local cold storage capacity.

Regarding tourism, the four provinces saw about 50 per cent of pre-arranged tours cancelled, and received 40-50 per cent less bookings than in the same period of 2015.

In Ha Tinh in particular, between 10 and 20 per cent of all rooms were booked rooms at the time of the break-down.

In late June, HFS committed to pay a compensation of $500 million for households suffering economic damages and for marine environmental pollution treatment of four provinces.

In addition, HFS will repair its wastewater treatment system.

Simultaneously, the company will co-operate with the relevant ministries and provincial authorities to implement synchronous measures to avoid a similar environmental breakdown.

According to Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Tran Hong Ha, as of now, HFS has paid a compensation of $250 million.

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