President Truong Tan Sang on Sunday asked marine police forces to protect Vietnamese fishermen working off the Vietnamese coast.
Sang paid a visit to coast guardsmen of the 2nd Regional Marine Police based in the central province of Quang Nam.
While praising previous efforts, the president asked the coastguard to protect both fishermen engaged in normal fishing activities and those involved in oil exploration and scientific research projects in Vietnamese seawaters.
The top priority of the marine police is to safeguard Vietnamese sovereignty, he stressed.
Previously, Sang met with fishermen at a port in Tam Quang Commune, Nui Thanh District, to hear about their recent difficulties.
Phan Vinh Tien, a representative of the commune's fishing trade union, told the president the government should provide fishermen more opportunities to access bank loans to build new boats.
He said the current annual interest rate of 13 percent that is too high.
"There should be policies to reduce the interest rate so that the fishermen can invest more in fishing boats," he said.
Fisherman Pham Van Huy said a number of Chinese fishing boats had violated Vietnam's territorial waters, causing difficulties for Vietnamese fishermen.
President Sang urged the fishermen to continue their work and help each other at sea.