The Vietnamese ambassador to Indonesia on Saturday paid a visit to the Vietnamese fishermen who are held at a local prison.
Ambassador Hoang Anh Tuan shared on his Facebook page information on and pictures of his journey from Jakarta to Tanjung Pinang Prison on Bintan Island to offer his support to the Vietnamese fishermen in custody, who are mainly from Kien Giang Province in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta.
This is the fifth local visit that Ambassador Tuan has paid since his appointment in Jakarta two and a half months ago.
The diplomat would spend two days working with local authorities in a bid to safeguard the fishermen’s legitimate rights and interests, he told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
“[The fishermen] are always in my mind. Protecting [their] rights and interests is my responsibility,” Ambassador Tuan said.
Ambassador Tuan added that he would return to Jakarta on Monday night after completing his tasks.
Many fishermen from Vietnamese provinces in the Mekong Delta such as Kien Giang and Ca Mau have been arrested by neighboring countries including Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
From January 2010 to November 2015, 248 boats with 2,269 fishermen in Ca Mau were seized overseas, 159 boats and 1,753 fishermen of which were held by Thailand, according to a report by the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
As aquatic resources in Vietnamese seas are decreasing in numbers, captains of many fishing boats sometimes steer their ships into the waters of other countries to ensure their incomes, a fisherman from Ca Mau said.
Despite local authorities’ efforts to raise fishermen’s awareness of the problems, many of them have still committed the violation.