Vietnam's government has announced that a Taiwanese-owned steel plant was responsible for massive fish deaths along the central Vietnamese coast that put many fishermen out of work.

The head of the Government Office, Mai Tien Dung, told a news conference that the subsidiary of Taiwan's Formosa Plastics Group was responsible for an estimated 70 tons of dead fish that began washing ashore along more than 200 kilometers (125 miles) of coastline in four central provinces in early April.

Dung said the subsidiary, Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corp., will have to pay $500 million to compensate affected people, clean up the environment and help fishermen find new jobs.

The company's chairman, Chen Yuan Cheng, apologized in a video shown at the news conference and said it accepts full responsibility.