‘Chinese researchers’ in Cam Ranh get modest fine
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A company which illegally operates a floating fish farm on the waters of Cam Ranh Bay in the coastal province of Khanh Hoa was yesterday fined VND4 million for using fish feeders that are not included in the country’s allowed list.
The floating fish farm of Song Phong Co on Cam Ranh Bay Photo: tuoi tre
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Song Phong Co Ltd, which hired two Chinese nationals to work as “aquaculture researchers” at their farm, has recently come under public criticism for operating on the bay over the last ten years without a water surface leasing contract.
“The two Chinese nationals have received administrative fines and been expelled,” asserted Le Van Dung, deputy head of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Inspectorate, after announcing the modest fine of VND4 million, or less than US$200.
Dung said his inspectorate team in May found grouper feeder cartons at the Song Phong Co farm that only bore Chinese labels, while by law labels are supposed to be in Vietnamese.
The representative of the floating farm also failed to prove the origins and provide quarantine certificates for their grouper breeds.
“We have at first fined them for the feeders, and in the next couple of days, if they still fail to clarify the origins of the groupers being raised on the farm, we will enact further penalties,” he said.
Regarding the company’s lack of a contract to hire the bay’s water surface, Dung commented that this is a difficult issue to handle.
“As far as I know, Song Phong Co has located their farm on Cam Ranh Bay for years, and they were allowed to do so,” he explained.
“Only some foreign companies licensed to raise aquatic products have been granted water surface certificates for operation, while most of the floating farms of domestic investors and local farmers have yet to receive the certificates.
“So we cannot fine them, as it’s not their fault, since the government has yet to hand the certificates to them,” he concluded.