HANOI Fishermen sue Taiwan firm over mass fish deaths
HUNDREDS of fishermen in central Vietnam have filed lawsuits demanding more compensation from a Taiwanese firm accused of dumping toxic waste in the ocean that killed tonnes of fish.
The mass fish deaths ravaged livelihoods in communities along the central coast, where fishing is the main source of income.
In a rare case of civic action against big business in Vietnam, large crowds of fishermen have swamped a courthouse in Ha Tinh province since September 26 to file 506 lawsuits against Taiwanese conglomerate Formosa.
The company says it has already paid US$500 million in compensation after Vietnamese officials blamed its multi-billion-dollar steel plant in the area for the fish deaths.
But the fishermen said they have yet to receive any money and are demanding Formosa close its plant and provide payouts.
Security forces have been widely deployed in the area, activist Tran Minh Nhat told AFP, but no clashes were reported.
State media said earlier that compensation would be paid out from early October after the final tranche was received last month.
It was not clear how much would be disbursed to affected fishermen.