Fish farmers threaten to block Disney site

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 April, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 15 April, 2005, 12:00am

Angry fish farmers threatened yesterday to block the Penny's Bay reclamation site unless they get compensation for fish they say have been killed as a result of work for the Disney project.

They made the threat after talks with Civil Engineering and Development Department officials broke down, with the officials claiming the deaths were not caused by the reclamation.

The two sides are also split over damage done to the Cheung Sha Wan fish farming zone, with the farmers claiming millions of fish have died but the government saying the number is only 2,700.

A high level of pollutants was measured in the culture zone after the deaths last October but officials said water monitoring had shown no spill of suspended solids from the reclamation site.

Chow Fu-yau, who represents the affected fish farmers, said they would allow two to three days for officials to come up with remedial proposals.

'If they do not accede to our demands, we will escalate our action by encroaching on the work site entrance and block the reclamation from being carried out,' he said.

Legislator Wong Yung-kan, from the fisheries and agriculture constituency, criticised the officials as 'irresponsible' and said the criteria for offering compensation were vague.

The farmers are also unhappy the 24-hour reclamation work is not matched by round-the-clock water quality monitoring. On Monday 10 vessels staged a protest near the site, asking workers to stop the reclamation work. They also feared sub-contracting of the reclamation work might lead to loose supervision of environmental criteria.