The Vietnam Fisheries Society (Vinafish) has strongly rejected China’s fishing ban in the East Vietnam Sea, affirming that Beijing has no right to impose such a prohibition in the Vietnamese waters.
Vinafish released its vehement opposition on Wednesday after China announcedon April 27 its 2021 fishing ban, effective from May 1, an action that the society deemed unilateral, unruly, and wrongful.
The ban, which is scheduled to last until September 16, applies to certain areas in the East Vietnam Sea that encompass a part of the Gulf of Tonkin and Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago under Vietnamese sovereignty.
The objection was sent to the Government Office, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the Party Central Committee's Commission for External Relations on the same day, the society reported.
In its objection, Vinafish asserted that such a fishing embargo is a serious violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty over its waters and archipelagos in the East Vietnam Sea.
It added that the proscription has not only infringed upon Vietnam’s rights and interests related to the country's exclusive economic zone, but also breached international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and ran against the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Vietnam Sea (DOC).
The enactment of the prohibition can cause the risk of clashes between Vietnam’s law enforcement forces as well as its fishing vessels and Chinese maritime forces, hindering the normal activity of Vietnamese fishermen in waters under Vietnamese sovereignty, Vinafish warned.
“China's ban on fishing in Vietnam's waters is void," Vinafish asserted.
"China has no right to impose any veto on fishing in Vietnam’s waters."
The society requested that China immediately terminate its fishing ban in the East Vietnam Sea, including the Vietnamese waters.
Vinafish also asked agencies concerned to strongly oppose China’s fishing prohibition and take drastic measures to immediately prevent the bar in order to protect Vietnam’s sea and island sovereignty, marine resources, and Vietnamese fishermen at sea.
The society will closely coordinate with local fisheries societies and other relevant agencies in supporting fishermen and putting their mind at rest so that they can continue fishing at sea, contributing to the protection of Vietnam’s marine sovereignty.
Several days before the society’s objection, Doan Khac Viet, deputy spokesman of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, had emphasized Vietnam’s opposition to China’s recent fishing ban and pointed out that the embargo has violated Vietnamese sovereignty over the Hoang Sa archipelago and infringed the 1982 UNCLOS.
Viet made the statements at the ministry’s regular press conference in Hanoi on April 29.
This unilateral veto also runs against the DOC and is not in line with the agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues between Vietnam and China, Viet said.
Vietnam resolutely objects any acts harming its sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos, as well as the country’s sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction over its waters, the Vietnam News Agency cited the diplomat as saying.