Vietnam drove away roughly 9,700 Chinese fishing boats in the past ten years for violating the Vietnam-China Agreement on Fishery Cooperation in the Tonkin Gulf, a Vietnamese official said Friday.
Many Chinese ships licensed to fish in the joint fishing area in the Tonkin Gulf were discovered smuggling petroleum products from Van Gia Port in Vietnam’s Quang Ninh Province to China, according to Nguyen Van Trung, deputy head of the Vietnam’s Fisheries Surveillance Department.
Many other boats illegally entered Vietnamese waters to poach.
Worse still, many Chinese vessels that were not licensed to enter in the joint fishing grounds still fish in the area, Trung said at a 10-year review of the agreement in Danang.
Vietnam fined 34 Chinese boats VND4 billion (US$190,000) for the aforementioned violations and confiscated more than 60,000 liters of petroleum products, he said.
A Vietnamese Coast Guard ship patrols the waters off Ly Son Island in the central province of Quang Ngai. Photo: Van Minh
On the other side, around 44 Vietnamese fishing boats were fined nearly VND3 billion ($142,000) by Chinese authorities between 2004 and 2009, mostly for using electrical currents to stun fish.
The Fishery Cooperation Agreement, which was signed by China and Vietnam ten years ago, established a joint fishing ground within an area of 33,500 kilometers.
The agreement is valid until 2019.