|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung visits a patrol boat of the Viet NamFishing Surveillance force under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development yesterday in Da Nang City. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
DA NANG (VNS) — Viet Nam has set up a fishing surveillance force to ensure the enforcement of fishing laws at sea.
Operating under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's General Department of Fisheries, the force's key tasks include patrolling the country's waters, monitoring fishing activities and detecting and handling violations.
It will also assist fishermen in their work, protect the country's aquatic resources and contribute to ensuring security, order and national sovereignty over the country's sea territory.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung yesterday attended the launch of the force in Da Nang.
Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai, also attending the event, asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to coordinate with other ministries to help the force, which he said would assist fishermen.
He required the MARD to direct the force to operate effectively in line with national and international law and contribute to protecting national sovereignty, sovereignty rights and jurisdiction in the East Sea while realising the country's international commitments.
The ministry will submit to the government a master plan on the development of the Viet Nam Fisheries Surveillance force until 2020 with a view to 2030.
Later yesterday in Da Nang, the State Bank of Viet Nam committed VND10 trillion (US$476 million) in loans at an interest rate of six per cent for fishermen building offshore fishing vessels, SBV governor Nguyen Van Binh said at a conference on deep-sea fishing.
The conference, which attracted deputies from 50 Government ministries, agencies and local administrations, aimed to develop new funding and policy mechanisms to support deep-sea fishermen.
"We will create favourable conditions for fishermen, including low interest rate loans to help them build modern fishing vessels for offshore fishing and improving the quality of fishing hauls," Binh said.
"Each steel vessel needs a fund of VND7 billion to build and a fee of VND1 billion for a long trip fishing. Most fishermen could not find a deposit for a such big loan, while the vessels are the only source of their livelihoods," said Binh.
"We offer them a longer payback period over 10 years and allow them to pledge the ship as collateral for the loan," he said.
The governor also said effective coordination between the ministries of agriculture and rural development; industry and trade; local governments, and businesses was needed to help create a financial return for fishermen.
Representatives from Ca Mau, Quang Ninh and Thanh Hoa provinces said offshore fishing with modern equipment was imperative to boosting the productivity, quality and value of marine produce.
Vice chairwoman of the central Binh Dinh Province, Tran Thi Thu Ha said building new steel vessels would help the fishing industry meet export demands and take on competitors.
Speaking at the conference, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said the State Bank needed to reduce the interest rate of loans for fishermen to 5 per cent and provide more relaxed conditions for repayment.
He also urged local governments to help promote knowledge and awareness on marine boundaries and the protection of sea produce among fishermen.
The PM also said the marine economy, which includes shipping, aquaculture and fisheries, accounted for 49.4 per cent of the country's GDP and would increase to up to 55 per cent by 2020.
According to a report by the ministry of agriculture and rural development, sea produce including fishing and aquaculture measured nearly 6 million tonnes, of which aquaculture accounted for 54.2 per cent, last year.
The PM also said the fishing industry needed to find solutions to overcome weaknesses in capacity and equipment for vessels. He urged ministries to create favourable conditions for boosting offshore fishing with a focus on credit policies. — VNS