Asia

Vietnamese fishermen sue Taiwan steel firm over fish deaths

FILE - In this Aug. 10, 2016 file photo, Vietnamese activists shout slogans and hold placards reading ''Destroying the environment is killing, "left, and ''Return clean seawater to us'' during a protest to urge Formosa Plastics Group to take responsibilities for the cleanup in Vietnam, in Taipei, Taiwan.    Hundreds of Vietnamese fishermen have filed claims seeking compensation from a Taiwanese steel company that acknowledged its toxic chemicals caused a massive fish kill, a local priest helping the fishermen said Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016.  (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying, File)

FILE - In this Aug. 10, 2016 file photo, Vietnamese activists shout slogans and hold placards reading ''Destroying the environment is killing, "left, and ''Return clean seawater to us'' during a protest to urge Formosa Plastics Group to take responsibilities for the cleanup in Vietnam, in Taipei, Taiwan. Hundreds of Vietnamese fishermen have filed claims seeking compensation from a Taiwanese steel company that acknowledged its toxic chemicals caused a massive fish kill, a local priest helping the fishermen said Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying, File)  (The Associated Press)

Hundreds of Vietnamese fishermen have filed claims against a Taiwanese steel company to be compensated for losses caused by its release of toxic chemicals.

The factory, owned by the Formosa Plastics Group, acknowledged in June that it was responsible for the pollution that killed large numbers of fish off the central Vietnamese coast in April, and pledged to pay $500 million to clean it up and compensate affected people.

Catholic priest Dang Huu Nam, who led the group of local fishermen, said 506 petitions have been submitted to a local court in Ky Anh town in central Ha Tinh province where the massive fish deaths occurred five months ago.

Nam said he expects more than 100,000 fishermen to file petitions.