Offshore fishers get help from authorities

Published: 08/06/2011 05:00

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Local governments in the north-central provinces have taken multiple measures to
support offshore fishing activities so that fishermen can be assured of a
livelihood.


Fishing boats in the
central province of Quang Ngai’s Duc Pho District head to sea. Fishermen will
receive support from the local government to help them operate for a longer time
at sea.
(Photo: VNS)

Hoang
Ngoc Viet, deputy director of Thua Thien Hue city Province’s Department of
Agriculture and Rural Development, said the provincial Aquaculture Division, in
co-ordination with local authorities, had encouraged fishermen to set up 14
teams and 40 groups for fishing logistical services.


This
would enable offshore fishermen to operate for a long time at sea and save fuel
and operational costs, he added.


Viet
said that groups of fishing boats equipped with long-range communication systems
could facilitate inter-boat communication on the location of fish stock.


The
division proposed that authorised agencies create a way to open and close the
estuary for each kind of boat.


This
would allow boats of more than 90 HP to go to sea early because they had modern
equipment and could travel at a high speed safely, he said.


It was
also proposed that they continue subsidising fuel costs and provide 100 per cent
of the funds to buy annual insurance for fishermen and 30 per cent of the funds
to insure the fishing boats’ hulls.


Nguyen
Duc Cuong, chairman of Quang Tri Province’s People’s Committee, said the
province had allocated VND585 million (US$27,900) to help local fishermen buy or
build a new fishing boat, replace the boat’s engines, and supply fuel-saving
services for fishing and aquaculture.


Support
has also been given to provide insurance to fishermen and boats with at least a
capacity of 40 horsepower, he added.


He said
that the provincial Division of Agro-Aqua-Forestry Products Quality Management
had organised 12 training courses on knowledge of food hygiene and safety on
fishing boats in seven coastal communes, with the participation of more than 600
fishermen who were boat owners.


Huynh
Van Minh, a 54-year-old ex-fisherman in Nghia An Commune in central Quang Ngai
Province’s Tu Nghia District, said that he spent VND13 million ($620) to install
a long-range communication device to be able to easily contact his family’s
three fishing boats.


Minh’s
decision came amid a shortage of means of long-range communication in the
commune, where there were only two such devices, called Icom, installed at both
ends of the commune five years ago.


This has
forced relatives of local fishermen to travel a long distance to inquire about
them when they are offshore. They have to wait a long time because the commune
has a large number of fishing boats.


Minh
said the device did not only provide weather information and help him keep track
of each of the fishing boats, but also enabled him to actively regulate the boat
fleet, which has dramatically raised the economic efficiency of each fishing
trip.


Other
fishermen in the commune followed in Minh’s footsteps by sharing money to equip
themselves with long-range communication devices.


The
commune also saw the establishment of 38 self-help groups consisting of 400
offshore fishing boats, with each having eight to 12 boats and led by a veteran
fisherman responsible for operating the group.


When
fishing boats operate at sea, these veteran fishermen will use Icom to inform
others about weather conditions and dispatch group members to give support in
operations or in case of emergencies.


The
device runs for communication purposes three times a day in normal weather and
around the clock in stormy conditions.


Tran
Thu, a group leader in Tan Hai village, said that to lower fuel costs, some
groups sent a couple of boats to go to the sea first for exploration instead of
all departing at the same time.


When a
fish source is found, the boats will inform them of the specific location, and
the remaining fishing boats will head directly to the site.


Huynh
Tan Nghia, a boat owner, said that with the exploration time shortened, the cost
for each fishing trip had fallen by VND20-30 million ($950 - 1,400).


A group
of 10 boats would spread out to cast nets on an area with a circumference of 100
nautical miles, which has increased the chance to find fish stock, he added.


VietNamNet/Viet
Nam News

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