Vietnam plans new fishing patrol fleet

TN News

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A fleet of more than 59 fishing patrol vessels will scour the Vietnamese sea to monitor fishing activities and participate in rescue missions, according to a plan to reinforce the fishing patrol force.

The US$1 million plan, to be carried out by 2020, was drafted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and submitted to the Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung last week for approval.

Vu Van Tam, deputy minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the force will monitor and handle fishing violations, as well as coordinate with other agencies to protect Vietnamese fishermen and the country's sovereignty.

Under the plan, an agency will be formed to manage operation of five fishing patrol zones, including the southern region, north-central region and Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago, south-central region and Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago, south-eastern, and south-western region.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, currently two fishing patrol ships operating in Bac Bo (Tonkin) Gulf belong to the Fisheries Department and don't have the authority to handle violations. They have had to coordinate with other forces like the marine police and the navy.

According to the plan drafted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, there have been hundreds of foreign boats fishing stealthily in Vietnam's waters, mostly operated by the Chinese. Vietnam has typically detected the boats and chased them away, while other boats were detained but released immediately after receiving a warning against their violations.

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