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Fish Processing Plant: Discharge of Organic Solid Waste into Surface Waters

Provided by IFC Sustainable Business Advisory


Fish Processing Plant, Vietnam

Case

A fish and shrimp processing facility employing 100 people discharges solid waste directly into the surrounding estuary water. Although it is an organic substance, waste from fish processing can deplete oxygen levels in the receiving water through bacterial decompo­sition. Other waste elements can increase salinity and temperature or depress pH levels, affecting local communities that are dependent on the estuary’s fisheries. There is also further concern over the effect of methods used by supplier farms to the factory on safe water supplies due to lack of oversight. For example, a nearby 150 hectare shrimp farm is one of several that uses pig and geese manure as shrimp feed (which is cheaper than commercial feed), with the possibility of contaminating the estuary’s water with antibiotics and pathogens present in the manure.

Impact

  • Adverse impact on the estuary water quality through depletion of dissolved O2 levels
  • Adverse impact on the aquatic life
  • Adverse impact on the livelihood of the local communities
  • Adverse impact on the health of local community due to contamination of estuary and affected aquatic life

Avoid

  • Prevent all solid waste disposal near estuary
  • Substitute pig and geese manure with commercial shrimp feed; eliminate raw manure use

Minimize

  • Establish, implement and monitor waste disposal plan in line with the regulatory require­ments and industry best practices
  • Provide training to the employees on waste management, regulatory requirements and the organization’s procedures on waste handling and disposal

Offset

  • Engage with key stakeholders, including regulators, NGOs and local communities, to address their concerns and communicate on the steps taken by the organization to prevent any further contamination to the estuary
  • Identify the affected community members and provide suitable compensation for the loss of livelihood. Compensation could be provided in terms of alternate employment op­portunities, financial compensation, and/or providing vocational training to assist them in enhancing their employability

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