Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — For 20 years Nguyễn Văn Vương has taken to the seas fishing in areas he knows like the back of his hand.
But only recently, did 38-year-old Vương from the central province of Quảng Ngãi learn about the common fishing grounds between Việt Nam and neighbouring countries.
“I was told about the area we could go fishing and the area we could not,” said, Vương, from the Tịnh Sơn District.
He and other fishermen often feared they might be in an area they shouldn’t be.
“But now, it’s over,” he said. “We feel more comfortable.”
He says it was thanks to the programme “Coast Guard Side by Side with Fishermen”, launched by the Việt Nam Coast Guard.
Fishermen were given national flags to fly on their boats and were also told about the parallel between exploring aqua products and protecting the sovereignty of seas and islands.
“Seeing the national flag flying in the wind on the top of my vessel, we feel proud and determine to maintain the sovereignty of our seas and islands,” he said.
Not only Vương but also thousands of fishermen across the country have benefited from the programme for two years.
Trần Thanh Giang, of Quảng Ngãi Province’s Lý Sơn District, said he suffered from rheumatism for years. Suddenly, one morning in March, the marine police force visited, examined him and gave him medicines.
“I feel their caring and thankful for that,” Giang said.
Police from the Coast Guard Zone 1 explain regulations in the common fishing grounds in the Tonkin Gulf for fishermen in Cô Tô Island.—VNA/VNS Photo Viết Tôn
Side by side
First launched in 2017, the programme, has helped thousands of fishermen learn more about the places they should and should not be fishing.
It also gives free examination for fishermen; equipping lifejackets, medicine, national flags in fishing boats; training fishermen skills of rescuing in the sea; disseminating laws and regulations related to protecting the sovereignty of our seas and islands as well as letting fishermen know that the marine police force is always ready to support fishermen whenever they are in distress offshore.
Colonel Lê Huy, deputy chief commissioner of the Coast Guard Force Zone 1 said at the end of June the force already carried out the programme in Cô Tô Island District in the north-eastern province of Quảng Ninh.
Huy said it paid special attention of the marine police force to local people and in particular, the island’s fishermen.
Chief Commissioner Colonel Lê Huy Sinh said one of the major aims was to explain the parallel between exploring aqua products and protecting the sovereignty of seas and islands.
“Our fishermen will inform the coast guard if they find any foreign vessels going fishing in our territory waters,” he said.
Then the force would promptly deal with it, he added.
Sinh also said “For the coast guard force, the most important task is timely rescuing fishermen in distress offshore and ensuring the safety for our fishermen.”
“We identify that being side by side with our fishermen is a journey having the start but without the end,” he said.
“It’s a glorious mission that we voluntarily carry out with heart,” Sinh said. —VNS