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[Photos] The Ghost Ships Of Ha Long Bay

Nine abandoned ships worth millions of dollars sit idle in a corner of Ha Long Bay. Not only do the rusting hulls represent another black eye for state-owned shipping giant, Vinashinlines, but also an environmental threat to the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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According to a local fisherman who told Vietnam Net that he usually anchors his boat near the vessels without interference as they have been unguarded.

Nguyen The Vinh, Chair of Bach Dang Ward, told the paper that the boats were left here four years ago and are assets of Vinashin Ocean Shipping Company Ltd. a subsidiary of Vinashinlines.

“These ships are in disrepair and they have severely affected Ha Long’s environment,” he said.

Though provincial authorities have asked the company to remove the vessels, their calls have gone unanswered.

An official from Vinashinlines said that they are among the many abandoned ships owned by the company and have not been removed “because the ship owners and its creditors cannot reach an agreement on the sharing of revenue from the liquidation of the ships.”

These boats are far from the only environmental challenge to Ha Long Bay. Authorities are in the process of removing 7,000 liters of toxic oil that have been leaking into the bay since May; fuel, oil and litter from tourism have polluted its waters and the areas delicate limestone caves have been degraded for and by tourists.

[Vietnam Net]

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