Thai authorities have approved the release of 24 Vietnamese fishermen to return home on December 1 and 2, after they were arrested for encroaching the country's waters accidentially.
The Vietnamese embassy in Thailand has this year helped more than 400 Vietnamese fishermen in such cases, Vietnam News Agency reported Friday.
Pham Minh Tuan, First Secretary of the embassy who is in charge of protecting Vietnamese expats in Thailand, said the embassy had worked hard with Vietnamese and Thai authorities to confirm the fishermen's innocence and ask their families to send money for their fares.
After their arrest, the fishermen had been kept under surveillance for at least 22 days as they did not afford the bail money. Then they were transferred to the Thailand Migration Department in Bangkok before being sent home.
There're at least 36 Vietnamese fishermen still detained at the migration department as the authorities have not managed to contact their families, the report said.
Since last year, more Vietnamese fishermen, most of them from southern region, have illegally entered Cambodian and Thai waters that borders Vietnam's.
Tuan said in a worsening economic situation, fishermen who know little about water sovereignty are being pushed further into the sea to make a living anywhere they could.
He also said that many Vietnamese fishermen have switched to waters to the south and west of Vietnam as they are afraid of Chinese attacks on the East Sea.
Tuan said Vietnam embassy has asked local authorities to educate the fishermen on basic waters laws.
The agency is also seeking fishing labor contracts between Thailand and Vietnam, under which Vietnamese fishermen can earn a living by working on Thailand's boats.