Report: Mekong Delta Waters Polluted
The waters of the Mekong Delta are seriously polluted, says Vietnam's Environmental Agency under the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment. Pangasius aquaculture is part of the problem.
According to a report on VietNamBridge, the content of E. coli bacteria in the delta's rivers and canals is two to five times the level permitted. The pollution is due in part to the expansion of rice fields from 3.2 million hectares in 1995 to 3.9 million hectares this year and the increased use of fertilizers and pesticides.
Another reason is pond expansion to grow pangasius (basa and tra). According to the news report, water surface area used to raise the fish has expanded from 200,000 hectares in 1995 to more than 700,000 hectares today.
Citing the Institute for Aquatic Economics and Planning, the report says aquaculture in the Mekong Delta results in nearly 500 million cubic meters of mud and waste annually, including more than 2 million metric tons from tra and basa farming.