|Local fishermen move a whale shark (Rhincodon typus) from their fishing vessel to land in central Phu Yen Province's Tuy Hoa City. About 7,000 local fishermen are educated by the border guard stations to raise their awareness of regulations on seafood exploitation at sea. — VNA/VNS Photo The Lap
PHU YEN (VNS)— Nearly 7,000 fishermen and 787 vessels have been recruited to improve safety off of Vietnamese shores as part of an initiative set up in coastal Phu Yen Province.
The manpower has grown to produce 103 fishing teams under the provincial Border Guard in co-ordination with 27 coastal communes and wards since the force was first set up in 2005. Initially, four teams were established with just 28 vessels at their disposal.
With the majority operating offshore, the teams account for 11 per cent of existing fishing vessels in the province.
Team members are educated by the border guard stations on national border law, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Government's declaration on territorial sea, contiguous zones, special economic zones and Viet Nam's continental shelf, thus raising their awareness of regulations on seafood exploitation at sea.
Since 2011, the teams have been backed by VND64 billion (US$3.07 million) to install 120 pieces of satellite positioning equipment using Movimar technology to help update weather conditions, while enabling authorised agencies to monitor the vessels' sea routes and fishing grounds, as well as provide support to boats in distress.
Over the past three years, the teams have taken part in 254 rescue operations, including the assistance of four foreign ships.
In January's most recent case, the PY 90144 TS tuna fishing vessel captained by Luong Cong Xuyen from Phu Dong Ward, Tuy Hoa City, saved four Filipino fishermen who had been stranded at sea for days.
The Filipino fishermen were safely taken to the mainland, where they were given medical care, food and accommodation before returning to their homeland in early May. — VNS