Hebei Fish Farmers Hit by Oil Spill in Bohai Bay

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Seafood farmers in Hebei Province have been hit by oil pollution which has destroyed a large proportion of their crop. The oil comes from a spill that occurred on June 4th in the Bohai Bay.

Scallop farmers in China's Hebei Province have complained that they have found oil particles in the waters where they farm along the 15 mile shore line of Leting County.

An oil spill was discovered in the Bohai Bay last month and oil rig operator ConocoPhillips as well as China's Oceanic Administration have been working to contain it. Yet some farmers feel they have been abandoned.

[Mr. Han, Manager of Fish Farm, Leting County, Hebei]:
All our seawater farms have lumps of oil in them, farming in the surrounding areas has been affected, fish and sea cucumbers have all died. Right now because of the pollution, there has been a large loss of produce. If you ask the government for help, they don't take care of it, the common people have to suffer for days on end."

Some fishermen feel the pollution in Leting is so bad that they have hired lawyers to resolve the issue.

[Shao Wenjie, Darwin Nature Study Group Member]:
"We saw pollution in Leting, even pollution under the sand is very obvious. According to investigations by local fishermen, 70% of thief shellfish have died, while in previous years the number was only 2 to 5%. Many lawyers have said that they are willing to help the fishermen without charge."

The original oil spill happened on June 4th but was only made public at the beginning of July. According to ConocoPhillips, as many as 2 thousand barrels of oil have oozed into the sea.

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