|A fisherman tests a satellite surveillance system installed on his boat in central Da Nang City. Similar projects have been ineffective in Phu Yen Province due to poor training. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Le Lam
PHU YEN (VNS) — A project worth millions of dollars, which helped to install the French fisheries satellite surveillance system Movimar on 3,000 ships in coastal provinces and cities, has not been working up to standard recently, according to fishermen in central provinces.
In central Phu Yen Province for instance, the Movimar system has been installed on 94 vessels, however many of them have been removed, just as the new fishing season is approaching.
"During a recent meeting of the province's fisheries association, many fishermen proposed returning the satellite equipment back to the state but the Department for Exploitation and Protection of Aquatic Resources refused to take them back", said Phan Thuan, head of Tuy Hoa City's Fisheries Association, to Nguoi lao dong (Labourers).
Each satellite costs VND65 million (US$3,000) and is supposed to provide vessels with hydro-meteorological forecasts that warn them of approaching storms and other bad weather conditions.
However it caused interference to other electronic systems when turned on, according to Vo Duong, a ship owner in Tuy Hoa City.
Having the same complaint as Duong, Do Nhu Qua, who often goes fishing near the Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands, said that on one occasion Movimar had not warned him that a storm was approaching his vessel.
"At that time, the storm was headed straight toward my ship but the device still indicated that the weather was fine", said Qua.
Similarly, fishermen in central Khanh Hoa Province had to use the weather forecasts provided by local coastal radio stations to get information, even though around 300 local vessels had already had the satellite installed.
"The device failed to determine the position, wind direction and speed of storms when they were about to approach our ships", Tran Van Dat, from the provincial fisheries association complained.
Meanwhile, Movimar always shows the vessels speed as much lower than it really is, according to central Ninh Thuan Province's sub-department for Exploitation and Protection of Aquatic Resources.
In contrast with the complaints from fishermen, several local authorities have reported that the system is working effectively.
After having received complaints from fishermen about the systems inefficiency, central Khanh Hoa Province's Exploitation and Protection of Aquatic Resources checked a device and the results showed that Movimar was working well.
A similar check also was taken by the Directorate of Fisheries, according to Nguyen Tri Phuong, Deputy Director of Phu Yen Province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
"Fishermen should receive more training on the device as the checks showed that they are not very competent when using it", said Phuong.
The 14 million euros (US$20 million) French-funded Movimar project has been conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development since 2011. As part of the project, Movimar will be installed on 3,000 vessels in 28 provinces nationwide to provide fishermen with hydro-meteorological forecasts that warn them of approaching storms and other bad weather conditions. —VNS