Friday, March 09, 2018, 13:36 (GMT+7)
The 2nd Fisheries Surveillance Team strengthens legal dissemination among fishermen

Over the past years, together with  law enforcement, environmental protection, preservation of  national sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the designated waters; disaster prevention, control and relief; and  provision of assistance to fishermen, the 2nd Fisheries Surveillance Team, under the 3rd Fisheries Surveillance Sub-department, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, has also played a key role in legal dissemination and instruction for fishermen operating in the waters  from Binh Thuan to Ca Mau. This is an important mission which contributes to enhancing the effectiveness of state management over fisheries resources and strengthening the national defence posture and people’s security posture at sea. Recently, the legal dissemination and instruction have been conducted thoroughly  on a regular basis with creative ways and  gained positive results. However, there remain inadequacies  in the awareness, content, models, and methods of propaganda. To improve the effectiveness and strengthen the work of legal dissemination among fishermen, the 2nd Fisheries Surveillance Team Party Committee has issued a number of synchronous guidelines and measures,  most notably the following ones:

First, concentrating on enhancing the cadres and staff’s awareness and sense of responsibility for legal dissemination among fishermen. The 2nd Fisheries Surveillance Team Party Committee has determined that legal dissemination is the first and most important stage of law implementation, serving as the  channel to introduce the Party’s guidelines and policies and the State’s laws to fishermen.  Against the backdrop of increased legal violations such as illegal fishing, dispute over fishing grounds and environmental  damage  conducted by both domestic and foreign individuals and organizations, this work has become ever more important, requiring  each cadre and staff of the team  to  achieve unanimity of awareness and action on this important work. Accordingly, the team has  grasped and strictly implemented resolutions, directives, plans of upper echelon on legal dissemination, most notably the Law on Legal Popularisation and Education; the Decree No.102/2012/ND-CP of the Government on the organization and operation of Vietnam’s Fisheries Surveillance Forces; the Directive No. 32/CT-TW of the Secretariat on strengthening the Party’s leadership over  legal popularisation and education. They have also sticked to the principle stating that legal disseminators are upright and exemplary in law obedience. Thereby, the whole cadres, party members and staff of the team have witnessed positive and vigorous changes in their attitude for the work.

Training legal knowledge for fisheries surveillance staff

Second, developing  highly-qualified staff who are capable and skilful  at law dissemination. As a newly established unit, the team has been proactive in nurturing the abilities of its staff to meet the requirements and missions, especially legal knowledge and expertise, and the skills for dissemination. Annually, the team screens, classifies, and evaluates its staff, then makes plans for training; coordinates with functional agencies to hold training courses on legal knowledge in the realm of fisheries of both Vietnam and  foreign countries, and on other necessary skills. Thereby, the capability, working style, and disseminating skills for legal dissemination of its carders and staff have been increasingly enhanced, contributing greatly to improving the effectiveness of law enforcement  in the designated waters.

Third, ceaselessly renewing the content, models, and methods of dissemination.  It is a fact that  laws, regulations and policies in the document format are in essence dry, academic, and obscure to most of the fishermen. Therefore, innovation in the content, models and methods of dissemination is important to enhance the quality and effectiveness of dissemination. Being fully aware of this matter, the team has summarized the content to make  it understandable, easy to remember and practical,  especially regarding legal principles  governing the settlement of  situations  at sea; regulations on fishing, communications and  life-saving equipment on fishing vessels; and ways of identifying restricted waters. Cadres and staff of the team have approached every boat right at their fishing grounds to conduct face-to-face dissemination and deliver leaflets, handbooks and video compact discs on legal issues  about fisheries surveillance, and so on. Besides, the team has also coordinated closely with the Navy, the Border Guards, the Coast Guards to make synchronous and comprehensive dissemination plans to enhance the effectiveness of this important work. In 2017, the team directly propagandised nearly 500 boats and delivered roughly 1,000 legal documents, thereby enabling individuals and groups operating in the realm of fisheries  to improve their awareness and obey Vietnam’s laws, laws of countries with contiguous and overlapping  waters with Vietnam, and international laws.

Explaining legal issues for fishermen 

Fourth, focusing legal popularisation on important and urgent tasks. Due to their inadequate legal awareness, violations of several Vietnamese fishing vessels in foreign waters tend to increase and witness complex developments. This has had hugh influence on Vietnam’s fishermen, fisheries enterprises and seafood export activities. The Prime Minister has timely issued a number of documents directing the issue such as the Directive No. 45/CT-TTg on the implementation of urgent measures  to overcome the EU’s warning about illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU), the Decision No. 78/QD-TTg on the approval of the national action plan to prevent, reduce and  stop IUU  until 2025. At the same time, it is imperative to  mobilize the whole political system, fisheries enterprises and fishermen to drastically implement the measures to meet the requirements of IUU Regulation. As its area of operation has a high rate of violations, the team has stuck to the leadership and direction of the 3rd  Fisheries Surveillance Sub-department and the upper agencies  and focused on  dissemination and instructions  to ensure fishermen’s strict implementation of  the aforementioned documents . In particular, the team has  clarified the meaning, goals and the urgency of measures to ensure compliance with IUU Regulation, bringing about  fishermen’s unanimity and obedience. At the same time, it has also stressed the sanctions and punishments of Vietnam’s laws as well as of regional countries against illegal fishing. The team has regularly deployed its patrol ships to the fishing grounds, especially the overlapping waters; provided maps of Vietnam’s seas and  instructed fishermen  to refrain from conducting illegal fishing  in foreign and international seas; coordinated closely with other law enforcement agencies  at sea to strengthen patrol and inspection of the operations of fishing boats; detected, investigated and seriously punished those who organized illegal fishing in foreign seas, and so forth.  Consequently, the number of illegal fishing in foreign seas has decreased significantly.

Given its sound policies and effective methods, the team’s legal popularisation work has contributed to fostering sustainable development of fishing operations within its area of operation, international integration, successfully realizing Vietnam’s Maritime Strategy, rapidly making Vietnam strong  on the seas and rich from the seas, and firmly protecting  national sovereignty  over seas and islands.

Dang Manh Hung, Secretary of the Team’s Party Committee

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