Viet Nam News
QUẢNG NGÃI - Environmentalists have warned of the overexploitation of the country’s fisheries stocks, but fishermen are continuing to use electrical impulses and mines while ignoring heavy sanctions.
Border posts in Quảng Ngãi Province have received recent reports from fishermen about people using explosives to catch seafood.
This illegal method is depleting fish stocks and affecting the lives of legitimate fishermen.
Huỳnh Thanh Ký, a local fisherman, told Việt Nam News Agency that he heard explosions every morning while he was fishing.
“This method allows them to catch more fish than the traditional method. The fish are killed by the explosion, but many honest fishermen witness are scared to do anything for fear of reprisals,” he said.
“Authorities should take stricter measures to save our fisheries.”
Heavy trawlers also operate in the area, dragging along the sea bed and catching everything in their path.
They operate inshore, scooping up fish of all sizes and destroying fishing nets belonging to other fishermen.
Ngô Dũng, a fisherman from Mộ Đức District’ Đức Lợi Commune, said that he had spent VNĐ40 million (US$17,390) on new fishing gear since the beginning of the year because the old equipment had been destroyed by trawlers.
“I had to borrow money from relatives and the bank to buy new gear. The whole year’s earnings is not enough to pay for it,” Dũng said.
Bottom trawling is a particularly destructive method of fishing. High-capacity trawlers pose a grave threat to fish and other sea creatures during the breeding season, he said.
Local border posts have been implementing measures to prevent illegal fishing methods.
Lieutenant Colonel Lê Thành Trung, head of Mộ Đức District’s Đức Minh border post, said they had co-ordinated with other forces to patrol and detect fishing vessels using illegal fishing methods as well as people supplying explosives to fishermen.
He said alongside an educational campaign and stricter punishments, support policies for offshore fishing vessels should be encouraged.
On Monday, Quảng Ngãi City People’s Committee, in collaboration with the provincial Fisheries Department, organised a workshop to raise awareness on the Law on Fisheries to fishermen in Nghĩa Phú Commune. - VNS