Vietnam pushes fishing fleet safety

By

Neil Ray, SeafoodSource contributing editor, reporting from Bangkok

Published on
July 26, 2009

Only 10 percent of the 130,000 fishing vessels operating out of Vietnam carry the proper communications equipment.

This figure has prompted the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to propose that the Vietnamese government help fishermen obtain communications devices. The proposal is being put forward as the monsoon season approaches.

Last year, there were 113 fishing-related accidents and 66 deaths off Vietnam’s Ba Ria Vung Tu province.

Though it’s required by law, the majority of vessels carry no communications devices at all. With each walkie-talkie costing USD 400 (EUR 281), many fishermen cannot afford it. The proposal is to make fishermen aware of the law, and if necessary provide help in supplying communications devices.

For example, in Da Nang, the city has set aside funding and delivered 100 walkie-talkies to its fishing fleet.

“The fishing sector needs to raise fishermen’s awareness of the importance of communications and guide them on how to keep contact with provincial coastal radio stations and border guards,” said Chu Tien Vinh, director of Vietnam’s aquatic resources exploitation and protection department.

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