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VietNamNews

Dangerous fishing habits kill too many fish

Update: June, 06/2015 - 12:00

People have been fishing by sending electric shocks into the water and killing fish.

This means that they catch many more fish than they used to in the past.

It also means that there are now no longer enough fish to make more fish for the future.

If this carries on there could one day be no more fish left.

Fishermen in central Nghe An Province's Chau Thang Commune.
Fishermen in central Nghe An Province's Chau Thang Commune. -  VNA/VNS Photo Ba Lieu

HA NOI (VNS) — Unnatural and harmful fishing methods are depleting fish stocks in unsustainable ways across the country, but localities lack the means to stop them, a Tin Tuc report says.

It cites local authorities as saying they do not have sufficient law enforcement teams to stop practices like electrofishing and the use of nets with smaller holes than allowed.

According to the Department of Statistics in the southern province of An Giang, where many residents earn their living by fishing, natural fishing practices have decreased sharply over the last 10 years.

A survey of 2,500 households found around 1,300 using electrofishing and 840 using fishing net with smaller eyes than allowed.

A similar situation has been reported in Long An Province, also in the south. In the province's Moc Hoa District alone, seafood caught naturally has been decreasing by 1,000 tonnes every year.

Nguyen Quang Tich, a resident of Chau Phu District in An Giang, said he had seen the catch fall sharply over the past several years.

"Before, I could catch plenty every night. It has changed. There are nights when I go back bare handed. I'm thinking of finding another job," Tich said.

Residents living on the banks of the Red (Hong) River are reporting similar problems.

Nguyen Minh, a resident of Ha Noi, estimated that the amount of fish had decreased by half in recent years due to electrofishing.

Dang Ngoc Giao, deputy head of the Agriculture and Rural Development Department of Hau Giang Province in the Mekong Delta, said electrofishing can destroy the living environment of marine life, and recovery would be difficult and take a long time.

Dangerous

Minh said he himself was electrofishing.

"I know it's dangerous, but, you know, it's for the money," he said, implying that earnings from normal practices were insufficient.

Vo Thanh Do, a resident of Can Duoc District in Long An Province, died last year while electrofishing.

Vo Van Trac, vice president of the Viet Nam Fisheries Society, said regulations banning bad fishing practices had to be enforced more aggressively.

However, authorities said they did not have the personnel for such enforcement.

Ha Le, deputy director of the Fisheries Surveillance Force, said since 2004, the surveillance task had been assigned to local agriculture departments, but the small number of inspectors hindered effective work.

"Electrofishing is on the rise and electrofishing tools are sold publicly, but no agency is tackling the problem," he said.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Thi Phuong Dung, deputy director of the Fisheries Preservation and Development Department, said the focus had to be more on educating residents and fishermen on the issue.

He also suggested stricter punishments for violations.

"Since the number of inspectors is too few, it might be more effective if we ask local residents to do this for themselves, raising their awareness of the long-term benefits of natural fishing." — VNS

 

GLOSSARY

 

Unnatural and harmful fishing methods are depleting fish stocks in unsustainable ways across the country, but localities lack the means to stop them, a Tin Tuc report says.

Unnatural, in this case, means not normal and strange.

Fish stocks are made up of all the fish in the water, including their eggs and small fish that will one day go on to create more fish.

If something is unsustainable it will not last. In this case, unnatural ways of fishing cause so many fish to be caught that one day there will be none left.

It cites local authorities as saying they do not have sufficient law enforcement teams to stop practices like electrofishing and the use of nets with smaller holes than allowed.

If the report cites local authorities saying something, it points out what local authorities say.

If there are sufficient law enforcement teams it means enough officials to make sure that people obey the law. 

According to the Department of Statistics in the southern province of An Giang, where many residents earn their living by fishing, natural fishing practices have decreased sharply over the last 10 years.

Fishing practices are ways of fishing.

Dang Ngoc Giao, deputy head of the Agriculture and Rural Development Department of Hau Giang Province in the Mekong Delta, said electrofishing can destroy the living environment of marine life, and recovery would be difficult and take a long time.

Marine life is life in the seas and oceans of the world.

"I know it's dangerous, but, you know, it's for the money," he said, implying that earnings from normal practices were insufficient.

"Implying" means "meaning".

"Insufficient" means "not enough".

Vo Van Trac, vice president of the Viet Nam Fisheries Society, said regulations banning bad fishing practices had to be enforced more aggressively.

Regulations banning bad fishing practices are laws that make it illegal to fish in bad ways.

Aggressively means with more force and determination.

However, authorities said they did not have the personnel for such enforcement.

Personnel means staff.

Ha Le, deputy director of the Fisheries Surveillance Force, said since 2004, the surveillance task has been assigned to local agriculture departments, but the small number of inspectors hindered effective work.

A surveillance task means the job of closely watching those people fishing using bad fishing practices.

To hinder effective work means to get in the way of work being done properly.

He also suggested stricter punishments for violations.

Violations are ties when a law is broken.

"Since the number of inspectors is too few, it might be more effective if we ask local residents to do this for themselves, raising their awareness of the long-term benefits of natural fishing."

 

Long-term benefits are good things that will come about after a long time.

 

WORKSHEET

 

State whether the following sentences are true, or false:

1. Electrofishing is a natural way of fishing.

2. Nguyen Minh lives in HCM City.

3. There is no way that electrofishing could ever destroy fish life out at sea.

4. In the southern province of An Giang, many residents earn their living by fishing.

5. There are now fewer fish in the Red (Hong) River.

 

ANSWERS:

© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2015





























 

 

 1. False; 2. False; 3. False; 4. True; 5. True.

 

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