Locals' lobster nets cause holdups at Vietnam port

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 Taio Frontier, a Japanese-owned ship, was delayed from entering Chan May Port due to locals' lobster nets on November 13

Authorities in the central province of Thua Thien Hue Friday ordered agencies to remove hundreds of lobster nets that locals set up illegally and delayed activities at a local port for nearly 15 hours.

Le Truong Luu, vice chairman of the provincial People's Committee, said they also ordered authorities of Phu Loc District to help local fishermen change occupations so that they would no longer catch lobsters in the waters of Chan May Port.

Phu Loc fishermen started setting up their nets in the waters of Chan May Port on Wednesday afternoon, despite the agencies' intervention.

The nets, which are known for their vast range, have since prevented many ships from entering the port.

One of them was Japanese-owned Taio Frontier, a 35,000 DWT ship, which had been scheduled to arrive at the port at 5 p.m. on Wednesday to pick up a cargo of wooden shavings.

The delay put both the shipper and the exporter, a paper raw materials supplier at the Chan May Lang Co Economic Zone, at risk of being fined US$10,000 a day in accordance with their contracts.

Nguyen Huu Tho, director of Chan May Port, told Thanh Nien that the practice of netting lobsters has taken place for years in the port's waters, in spite of having been banned by local authorities.  

It was said the situation is worse during lobster season, which comes toward year's end.

Earlier this year the Clipper Odyssey cruise ship from the Bahamas carrying 132 international tourists got stuck in lobster nets when it was entering Chan May Port. The incident delayed the cruise's journey for more than an hour. 

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