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Poverty in Viet Nam as 4,000 Tonnes of Mussels Die

by 5m Editor
13 February 2009, at 12:00am

VIET NAM - Poverty looms large for many coastal farmers in the central province of Khanh Hoa as up to 90 percent of mussels bred in the area have died, possibly because of pollution.

Around 70-80 per cent of the crustaceans have died in Cam Thanh Bac Commune of Cam Lam District, reported Thanhninen news yesterday.

The Vietnamese news organisation says that at Tan Dao Village in Ninh Hoa District’s Ninh Ich Commune, the death of more than 4,000 tons of mussels, or 90 per cent of the total in local farms, has caused losses of VND13 billion (US$746,000).

Several mussels were found dead on January 23, three days before the first Lunar New Year (Tet) day, and they started to die en masse five days later.

Ho Minh Toi, head of the village’s Fishermen’s Association, told Thanhnien News that the villagers had gained “remarkably better living standards” since 2002 when they started breeding mussels, with initial support from the province’s fisheries officials.

Now that the mussels have died in large numbers, he said there’s high chance that the residents will return to poverty.

5m Editor