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Tuesday, December 22, 2020, 09:49 (GMT+7)
129th Naval Fleet accompanies fishermen’s offshore fishing

Implementing the task of defence and economic combination, over the years, officers, soldiers, employees of the 129 Naval Fleet (under the Saigon Military Port) have always united, overcome difficulties and hard weather conditions to accompany fishermen’s offshore fishing and maintain the country’s sovereignty over the sacred sea and islands.

Fishermen not only play an important role in economic development but also contribute to, together with authorised forces at sea, asserting the sovereignty of the sea, islands and continental shelf of the country. Fishing boats and ships are living milestones, fishing groups and teams are villages on the sea. Each fisherman is a sea guard who promptly provides important information to help functional forces grasp the situation, effectively handle arising situations, contributing to firmly protecting the sovereignty, security, order and safety of the sea and islands of the Fatherland. Fully aware of this, over the past years, the Party Committee and Commander of the 129th Naval Fleet have deeply grasped the guidelines and views of the Party, State, Army, Navy, Saigon Military Port, and shouldered with fishermen in their offshore fishing activities, bringing about practical results.

Sr. Col. Huynh Van Da meets his troops before their task performance

With the view that only when the coast is secured, will fishermen go offshore fishing with a peace of mind, the fleet has deployed a series of activities to build “people’s heart and mind posture” in coastal localities, and make communes and island districts strong, creating a foundation for building a solid defence and security posture on sea. First of all, it focuses on propaganda and education to raise awareness and responsibility for officials, party members and people on the task of protecting sovereignty of sea and islands. Deeply grasping the above resolutions and directives, directly resolutions of the Party Committee of the Naval Command, the Party Committee of the Saigon Military Port, the fleet has actively coordinated with the fisheries sub-departments of Ben Tre province and Ho Chi Minh City and local departments and agencies of the central coastal provinces, Binh Duong, Hau Giang to promote the propaganda and sign the Program on acting as a fulcrum for fishermen in offshore fishing. At the same time, it conducts propaganda and education to make cadres, party members and people aware of the role, importance and the need to protect sovereignty of sea and islands, thereby defining their responsibility during the implementation process.

The content of propaganda and education is comprehensive and intensive, focusing on: Resolution No. 09-NQ/TW, dated February 9, 2007 of the Party Central Committee (10th tenure) on “Vietnam Sea Strategy until 2020”; Resolution No. 36-NQ/TW, dated October 22, 2018 of the Party Central Committee (12th tenure) on “Strategy for sustainable development of Vietnam's marine economy to 2030, with a vision to 2045”; Law on National Borders; Law of the Sea of Vietnam; The 2017 Revised Fisheries Law; Directive No. 45/CT-TTg, dated December 13, 2017 of the Prime Minister on a number of urgent tasks and solutions to overcome the European Commission's warnings against illegal, un-reported and un-regulated fishing, together with a number of regulations of the regional coastal countries; directives and decrees on the protection of territorial sovereignty, national border security, management of activities of people and vehicle in our waters, and plots and tricks of hostile forces, etc. During the implementation, the fleet coordinated with the local propaganda commissions, press agencies, and fishery sub-departments to hold propaganda classes, distribute 13,664 leaflets about the activities of the ship lock and the fishing village; widely propaganda on VTV1, Vietnam National Defence Television, Ba Ria - Vung Tau Television, television stations of 07 central coastal provinces, Binh Duong, Hau Giang, contributing to raising awareness and responsibility of the people in protecting the sovereignty over the sacred seas and islands of the Fatherland.

For fishermen at sea, the fleet focuses on raising their awareness of the law, guiding some essential contents for seafarers, the way to communicate through the Vietnam Naval guard station, the way to recognise signal flares warning storm, tropical low pressure and sheltering area. At ship locks and in fishing villages, propaganda for people is done regularly, along with mass mobilization work to help fishermen understand their rights and responsibilities when approaching ship locks and fishing village; guide them way to move ships and boats in case of storms, and how to moor ships or boats in storm shelter; at the same time, provide legal support to fishermen so that they firmly grasp the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; regulations on fishing in the sea areas of regional countries and in international waters, ... so that each citizen becomes a “living milestone” in protecting national sovereignty on the sea. In addition, the fleet promotes the legal propaganda, dissemination and education, guides fishermen to recognise storms and floods; instructs them storm prevention, search and rescue methods, ensuring safety for people and property, minimising accidents and risks while operating at sea.

During the implementation of the mission, the fleet always assists fishermen in exploiting, producing and developing marine economy. It regularly dispatches ships to support fishermen operating at sea as well as at ship locks and in fishing villages; focuses on fishing surveillance, patrol, control, propaganda and prevents fishermen from violating foreign waters; conducts search and rescue when ships and fishermen have trouble at sea. In recent years, many fishing boats of fishermen in distress have been promptly rescued by its officers and soldiers, ensuring safety of lives and minimising property damage. During their task performance, its ships also assist fishermen in repairing ships, boats and fishing equipment, adding fresh water, food, medicine, gasoline, oil, making them confident and secured in production. Following the direction of the Naval Command, the fleet closely coordinates with the 146th Naval Brigade in contacting the fishermen to purchase seafood for troops and people on Spratly islands at reasonable prices, contributing to improving their life.

Recently, fishermen have faced with storms, super typhoons, tropical depressions, that significantly affect their fishing activities. Therefore, the officers and soldiers of the fleet have actively participated in supporting the prevention and fighting against natural disasters, contributing to minimising human and material damage for fishermen. At the ship locks of: Sinh Ton, Truong Sa and fishing villages of: Nui Le, Toc Tan, the fleet actively develops and implements plans to prevent, avoid and respond to natural disasters according to the level of risks. Every year, the fleet holds training courses for thousands of fishermen on knowledge and skills to respond to natural disasters. Thereby, fishermen have improved their initiative and skills in preventing, combating and coping with natural disasters at sea. In addition, it also deploys a regular watch force to receive information, quickly and accurately update the direction, intensity, wind power and the affected area of the storm through the National Centre for Meteorology and Hydrology to give warning to fishermen; leads fishermen's fishing boats quickly out of danger areas; continuously informs and communicates by text messages, newsletters alerting fishermen to grasp the specific situation to proactively move ships and boats out of the danger zone into safe areas, contributing significantly to reducing damage caused by storms and tropical depressions to fishermen. Not only be a helping hand for fishermen, the ship locks and fishing villages managed by the fleet also supply fuel, fresh water and other necessary goods, and repair breakdowns so that fishermen can prolong their cruise, thereby reducing costs and increasing their income. Since 2016 to date, the locks and fishing villages managed by the Fleet have received 1,947 ships and boats to safely avoid storms; conducted search and rescue for 16 ships and 147 fishermen in distress at sea; repaired 135 fishermen's fishing boats. Recently, during the time of the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, the locks and fishing villages managed by the fleet supported more than 800 fishing boats with more than 03 thousand fishermen in the provinces of: Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Quang Ngai, Khanh Hoa, Ca Mau, Kien Giang.

It can be said that the program “Vietnam Navy acting as a fulcrum for fishermen’s offshore fishing” in the period of 2017 - 2020 of the 129th fleet has been conducted actively, positively, and effectively, creating great spillover effect, contributing to strengthening the solidarity between the army and the people, really being a reliable helping hand for fishermen living and doing business on sea, and highlighting the image of “Uncle Ho's soldiers - Naval soldiers” in the heart and mind of the people. At the same time, through this program, fishermen are encouraged to go offshore fishing, stick to the sea and participate in protecting the sovereignty over the sea and islands of the country.

Promoting the achieved results, the Party Committee, Commander of the 129th Naval Fleet continue to thoroughly grasp the views of the Party, the State and the Army on mass mobilisation work, especially Resolution No. 49-NQ/QUTW, dated 26/01/2015 of the Central Military Commission on strengthening and renewing the mass mobilisation of the Army in the new situation; improve the quality and efficiency of propaganda and mobilisation of people to implement the Party's guidelines and undertakings, the State's policies and laws; promote and better the work of coordination with other forces in building “people’s heart and mind posture”, helping people to prevent, combat and overcome consequences of natural disasters, search and rescue; coordinate with other marine forces to act as a reliable support for fishermen in their offshore fishing to create a national defence posture associated with the strong people's security posture at sea, together with the Saigon Military Port, performing well its military and defence tasks associated with marine economic development, be ready to receive and successfully complete all assigned tasks, embellishing the glorious tradition of: “Solidarity, overcoming difficulties, persevering on the sea, well completing its task of national defence and economic combination”.

Senior Colonel HUYNH VAN DA, Political Commissar of the Fleet

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