Aug 13, 2008


Vietnam's Cuu Long Delta in bad form on aquaculture pollution


Vietnam's Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta is in danger due to the rapid expansion of aquaculture and the pollution that comes with it, experts said.


The Mekong Delta is in dire need of scientific, technological and administrative measures to stop the growing pollution in the area, the experts pointed out.


Huynh Van Hoang, head of the Southern Institute of Science and Technology, said as Vietnam's leader in producing rice, seafood and fruit, the region's agriculture is the first sector affected by the environment pollution.


The Southern Environment Protection Department said that the rapid development of aquaculture has worsened environmental pollution in the delta as most waste from aquaculture activities is released directly into rivers and canals.


Mud and water from aquaculture activities in the delta generates 456 million cubic metres of waste a year.


Experts warn that when the quantity of aquaculture-related waste exceeds the capacity of the delta's fresh water resources, the ecological balance would be tipped, leading to even more serious water pollution.


"It is impossible for the delta not to develop industry but industrial development must be combined with environmental protection," Hoang said.


The Southern Institute of Science and Technology is hosting a seminar in August to collect scientists' opinions on solutions for pollution in the region, said Hoang.


"Based on their opinions, the institute will look into a plan for treating pollution in the delta. Priorities will be given to research measures to protect the environment around industrial parks," he said.

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