Panicked people stockpile fish sauce and salt after mass fish death
  • By Bich Diep | | May 10, 2016 11:44 AM
 >>  Inspection team finds no layers of dead fish underwater
 >>  Inspection tightened at Formosa plant factories over dead fish disaster
 >>  Fishermen in Quang Binh find layers of dead fish at local seabed

Many people in Vietnam have rushed to buy salt and fish sauce following the information that tonnes of dead fish in the central region were found to be have been transported to many localities for making fish sauce.

Nguyen Thi Hai, 58 years old, in Xa La apartment block in Hanoi’s Ha Dong District, said that she had bought 20 litres of fish sauce from Nha Trang City in Khanh Hoa Province. She had also bought kilos of salt from her home in Nam Dinh.


Fish sauce sold at a supermarket in Hanoi

“Having heard from TV and radio, I know that tonnes of dead fish in the four central provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue have been shipped to many different localities nationwide for fish sauce production. The sea water in the central region is seriously polluted, so, this may affect the salt quality. It’s better for us to have preventive measures to protect our health,” Hai said.

Over the past two weeks, the storage of salt and fish sauce has become more common, particularly in big cities like Hanoi and HCM City.

Nguyen Thanh Huong from Hanoi’s Hoang Mai District has joined a closed group on Facebook on clean salt supply. She said group members often call salt white gold. Some people in the forum who have the reliable supply sources agreed to help members buy enough salt for three years.

Right after the mass fish death in the central region, many local families started storing fish sauce and salt.

The increasing demand for these products has brought traders a great chance to make big money. A trader of Phu Quoc-branded fish sauce shared an online forum that she could afford to buy a luxury car soon as the goods sold like hot cakes.

“Never before have I seen fish sauce and salt sold well like this. Our shippers have to work all day even in the evening. Most of customers buy at least 3-4 boxes of fish sauce, some even order 10,” she said.

According to a staff member from Nghe An Province’s seafood company, it is usually just sardines and anchovies used to make fish sauce and it takes at least a year to produce high-quality fish sauce, making the current stockpiling panic rather pointless.

But food safety issues remain a concern. On May 5, police in Thanh Hoa province found a truck transporting three tonnes of dead fish to a local commune for fish sauce production. On the same day, they also found 21 tonnes of rotting dried cuttlefish being moved to Quang Ninh for sale.


Leave your comment on this story