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Vietnam to strengthen protection of fishermen operating in northern waters

Thursday, January 14, 2016, 16:28 GMT+7

Local authorities have announced that they will ramp up safeguards for fishermen in the sea area in northern Vietnam, following recent incidents that threatened the fishing operations in the region.

Nguyen Hoai Nam, head of the Department of Exploitation and Protection of Fisheries Resources in the north-central province of Quang Tri, on Wednesday said that he had submitted a document to the provincial People’s Committee, asking competent agencies to carry out regular patrols to provide extra protection for the Vietnamese fishers working near the Gulf of Tonkin.

The Gulf of Tonkin is a body of water located off the coast of northern Vietnam and southern China.

The document was issued in the wake of several Vietnamese fishing boats and their equipment being damaged by Chinese ships.

The Quang Tri border guards will conduct additional marine patrols to offer assistance to the fishermen in the area as well as to defend Vietnam’s maritime sovereignty, Nguyen Huu Chien, captain of the guard forces, said yesterday.

On Monday, the border guard office in Quang Tri received reports and proof from the fishers whose equipment was destroyed by Chinese vessels.

On January 3, five Vietnamese fishing boats were operating in the sea area 20 nautical miles off Con Co Island, under the administration of Quang Tri Province, when they were confronted by a fleet of ten Chinese vessels, Vo Thanh Tanh, one of the captains, recounted.

One ship from the fleet then approached the area where the fishing nets of the Vietnamese fishers were cast and dropped its anchor on the nets before dragging them on the sea.

The pulling caused 12 of the fishing nets to be torn up, with financial damage estimated at VND100 million (US$4,456), according to the captain.

As Vietnamese authorities arrived at the scene after getting a notification, the Chinese ships quickly left, leaving behind several exhibits, including an iron anchor.

The Vietnam Fisheries Society on Tuesday condemned the activities of those Chinese ships that attacked Vietnamese fishermen and sabotaged their property, as well as suggested that the fishers continue doing their job, help each other, and abide by the law.

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