Over 19,000 Vietnamese jobs lost to Formosa mass fish deaths

Over 19,000 Vietnamese have lost their jobs as a result of the environmental disaster caused by the Vietnamese steel business of Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics Group earlier this year.

The General Statistics Office of Vietnam reported the number of citizens affected by the mass fish deaths along the central coastline during a press conference on the country’s socio-economic status on Thursday.

According to the report, over 22,700 households had their lives and production impacted by the incident and its aftermath.

More than 24,400 local laborers, mainly working in aquaculture, salt production, and hospitality, lost the stability of their previous livelihood.

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A fisherman collects her fishing net in the north-central Vietnamese province of Ha Tinh.

About 19,000 others became unemployed while 5,000 others were forced to find a new profession in order to earn a living.

The number of migrant workers stemming from the affected provinces was recorded at 17, 353, the General Statistics Office concluded.

A large number of dead fish washed ashore in the central provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, and Thua Thien-Hue in early April.

In late June, examinations of the company’s wastewater by local and international scientists concluded that  Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics Group was responsible for the situation.

The Taiwanese company publicly apologized to the Vietnamese government and people for severely polluting the environment and pledged a total compensation of VND11.5 trillion, or US$500 million.  

By September, competent authorities announced that the ocean along the central coastline was safe for swimming and aquaculture activities while seafood was still not entirely safe to eat.

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