Thursday, August 16, 2018, 11:28 (GMT+7)

Thursday, March 22, 2018, 13:36 (GMT+7)
Vietnam Fisheries Surveillance accompanies fishermen on sea

Over the past years, Fisheries Surveillance Force has synchronously implemented several solutions to accompany fishermen in exploiting sea resources to bring economic benefits to the country and contribute to protecting the sacred sea and islands sovereignty of the Motherland.

On the basis of thoroughly grasping the 8th Plenum Resolution of the Party Central Committee (11th tenure) on Strategy for Homeland Protection in the new situation, the 4th Resolution of the Party Central Committee (10th tenure) on the Vietnam Sea Strategy to 2020, the revised Fishery Law 2017, etc, Fisheries Surveillance Force has worked closely with ministries, sectors, and localities to propagate, disseminate, educate, and instruct fishermen and relevant organizations and individuals on obeying regulations of fishery legislation, well performed the work of patrolling, inspection, control, detection, prevention, and handling of violations of the fishery legislation in the sea areas, and actively participated in the prevention and control of natural disasters and search and rescue coordination, etc. Since its establishment, Fisheries Surveillance Force has been a reliable support for fishermen in producing and exploiting sea product, increasing productivity and quality of fishing, and improving their livelihood, which has contributed to protecting the national sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction in the country’s seas.

To achieve such results, Fisheries Surveillance Force, first of all, has regularly and effectively carried out the work of patrolling, inspection, control, detection, prevention, and handling of violations of the fishery legislation to promptly settling violations and ensure maritime security. Currently, a number of fishermen have not strictly complied with the national and international fisheries laws, and fishing vessels of Vietnam have been arrested and handled by other countries. Therefore, Fisheries Surveillance Force has identified that the work of patrolling, inspection, control, detection, prevention, and handling of violations of the fishery legislation is a top priority. Good implementation of this work will be a prerequisite to ensure fishermen’s strict compliance with the law, create a legal environment for fishing activities in the waters of our country, especially offshore areas, and, at the same time, contribute to the protection, regeneration, and development of aquatic resources and  protection of marine ecological environment and fishing grounds.

Legal education and dissemination for fishermen

To facilitate fishermen to voluntarily comply with the fishery laws and create favorable conditions for inspecting and controlling and minimizing violations, Fisheries Surveillance Force has attached great importance to education and dissemination to fishermen the fishery laws and related directives and regulations, especially the Revised Fisheries Law 2017, the Directive No.45/CT-TTg dated 13-12-2017 of the Prime Minister on a number of urgent tasks and solutions to overcome the European Commission's warning about illegal, unreported, and un-regulated fishing and the regulations of neighboring countries, etc. The Department of Vietnam Fisheries Surveillance has organized propaganda and recommendations on illegal fishing activities and violations of foreign sea areas through various measures such as mass-media propaganda, specialized web pages and categories, and coordination with the fisheries surveillance sub-departments of coastal provinces and cities to organize training courses to guide on law enforcement at sea and deliver leaflets or fishermen's handbooks, etc. As a result, fishermen’s perception has been significantly improved, which helps gradually prevent law violations and better the compliance with regulations on the protection of fisheries resources. The number of ships and boats in violation of foreign sea areas has decreased compared to previous years. In 2017, the number of Vietnam’s fishing vessels and fishermen controlled, arrested, and handled was lower than that in 2016 with 76 cases, including 112 vessels and 664 fishmen.

At present, the Fisheries Surveillance Force has to endure equipment limitations, but the Department of Fisheries Surveillance has overcome the problem by coordinating with other forces, such as the Navy, the Coast Guard, the Fisheries Inspectorate, etc. to mobilize a capable contingent of ships and boats to carry out the tasks. During their task performance, when necessary, the Fisheries Surveillance Force has also assisted fishermen in repairing ships, boats, and fishing equipment or supplementing fresh water, food, medicines, or fuels, which has created trust and support for fishermen’s peace of mind.

During their fishing operations, fishermen face extreme weather conditions, like  storms, typhoons, tropical depression, etc. which badly affect the their production activities. The Fisheries Surveillance Force has actively participated in the prevention and control of natural disasters, contributing to alleviating physical and material damages to fishermen. Accordingly, the Department of Fisheries Surveillance has timely advised the General Department of Fisheries (under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) to consolidate the personnel of the Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention, Search and Rescue of the General Department. Thereby, the development and implementation of plans and options for prevention, avoidance, and response to natural disasters in accordance with the risk levels of the fisheries sector have been carried out proactively. Annually, the Department coordinates with local authorities to train thousands of fishmen and cooperates with Vietnam Television and the Voice of Vietnam in developing and broadcasting forums and categories on disseminating the needed knowledge and skills for disaster response to fishermen.

A search and rescue drill in 2017

The work of ensuring communication for fishermen operating offshore, especially the remote sea areas, is paid with much attention by the Fisheries Surveillance sector, and considered an important condition for fishermen to operate offshore for long time. In order to firmly grasp the operation of fishing vessels and create favorable conditions for fishermen to overcome incidents, the Fisheries Surveillance Force has attached importance to maintaining the communication system to ensure smooth connection in all circumstances and create conditions for the fishermen’s peace of mind to operate on the sea. Accordingly, the Department has advised the General Department of Fisheries to invest in communication equipment on fishing vessels, especially the installation of satellite connection equipment, to ensure the observation ability, smooth and timely communication in terms of distance and scope. Consequently, it has helped the Fisheries Surveillance Force regularly monitor and firmly follow the locations and operations of fishing vessels, especially those are fishing offshore, to timely warn fishermen about the changes of weather and restricted areas, etc. Therefore, in recent years, it has helped fishermen avoid several unfortunate risks when fishing on the sea, especially offshore.

In the coming time, the number of tropical depressions and storms in the East Sea is forecasted to be higher than the annual average. Countries in the region will strengthen measures for controlling and handling violations in fishing activities at sea. Therefore, the Department of Fisheries Surveillance will continue to synchronously and resolutely implement solutions, especially those on administrative reform and force development. In particular, focus will be placed on building high-quality human resources with strong political will, high professional qualifications on law enforcement, foreign languages, IT, and appropriate knowledge and awareness of the national and international sea and islands to guide and help fishermen to legally run their marine business. At the same time, the Department will also intensify patrolling, inspection, control, and handling of legal offenses at sea and closely coordinate with ministries, branches, and localities in applying a number of measures to prevent and minimize Vietnamese fishing vessels operating outside the country’s sea areas as well as foreign fishing vessels violating sea sovereignty of Vietnam. The Department will also cooperate with the regional fisheries control authorities to effectively deal with incidents, which will contribute to maintaining the sovereignty and friendly relationship, deserving to be a reliable support of fishermen on the sea and islands of the country.

Luu Van Huy, Director of the Fisheries Surveillance Department

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