|Up to 228 Vietnamese fishermen being held for illegal fishing in Indonesian waters were released yesterday and arrived safely in Vũng Tàu City in the southern coastal province of Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu.– Photo tuoitre.vn|
HÀ NỘI – Up to 228 Vietnamese fishermen being held for illegal fishing in Indonesian waters were released yesterday and arrived safely in Vũng Tàu City in the southern coastal province of Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu.
This was the largest number of Vietnamese fishermen ever to be released by Indonesia.
The fishermen were transported by fisheries surveillance vessel KN 490, then delivered to representatives of the localities hosting them, the Foreign Ministry said.
Previously, upon Indonesia’s promise to return the fishermen in September, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc assigned relevant ministries and localities to work together to bring the fishermen home as soon as possible, ensuring their safety.
The Foreign Ministry, related ministries, and Vietnamese representatives and offices abroad joined hands to protect the rights of the fishermen when they were caught and put on trial.
The agencies have been working to strengthen management and to monitor fishing activities of Vietnamese fishermen to ensure that they abide by international laws.
Last week Indonesian Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Susi Pudjiastuti, met with the Vietnamese Ambassador to Indonesia in Jakarta to discuss the pending repatriations.
The Indonesian Minister said the return of the fishermen was the result of cooperation between the two nations. She expressed hope that the two nations would continue collaborating to return the remaining Vietnamese fishermen detained in Indonesia to their home country.
Minister Susi also highlighted Việt Nam’s potential for aquaculture and seafood processing and urged localities in Natuna to foster cooperation with Vietnamese enterprises in these areas.
Ambassador Hoàng Tuấn Anh expressed his gratitude to the Government of Indonesia and to the Minister for their contributions to the agreement which allowed the 228 fishermen to return home.
"Vietnam has taken numerous measures to prevent its fishermen from violating Indonesia’s waters," he said. He indicated that efforts were hampered by fishermen’s poor awareness of the laws and by their disadvantaged economic circumstances.
Indonesia has said it is currently detaining around 312 more Vietnamese fishermen. - VNS