Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Chinese forces should treat Vietnamese fishermen humanely: Vietnamese Coast Guard officer

April 21, 2016 – Amid the 11th Vietnam-China joint fishery patrol in the shared fishing grounds in the Tonkin Gulf, reporters from the People’s Army Newspaper interviewed Senior Colonel Pham Kim Hau, Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff of the Vietnam Coast Guard, leader of the Vietnamese Coast Guard mission to the 11th Vietnam-China joint fishery patrol.

Senior Colonel Pham Kim Hau, Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff of the Vietnam Coast Guard, leader of the Vietnamese Coast Guard mission to the 11th Vietnam-China joint fishery patrol.
The interview follows:

Reporter: Can you clarify the objectives and meaning of the joint patrol in the shared fishing grounds in the Tonkin Gulf?

Senior Colonel Pham Kim Hau: The joint patrol is an annual activity conducted by Vietnamese and Chinese maritime enforcement forces, under the signed agreement on fishery inspection between the two sides. It aims to preserve maritime resources, protect the maritime environment, and maintain sustainable exploitation of maritime resources. The joint patrol also contributes to promoting solidarity and friendship between the two nations.
The event also provides a good chance for the two sides to exchange information, discuss issues of mutual concern, and seek effective approaches to deal with maritime law violations. More importantly, the two sides agree that fishermen of the two countries must be treated humanely in all cases. The maritime law enforcement forces of each country check all fishing boats in their jurisdictional waters. And each party will fully inform the other of violations by the other country’s fishing boats, in the spirit of humane treatment.

Reporter: How do the two countries’ fishermen observe the regulations of the Vietnam-China Agreement on Fishery Cooperation, as well as other maritime laws?

Senior Colonel Pham Kim Hau: Fishermen of the two countries have become more aware of maritime regulations and laws now, particularly about fishing licenses in the shared fishing grounds and about regulations regarding the forms of fishing allowed. Most fishermen comply with maritime regulations and laws.

Reporter: Can you name positive changes in fishery activities in the shared fishing grounds, after more than 10 years of implementing the Vietnam-China Agreement on Fishery Cooperation and conducting joint fishery patrols?

Senior Colonel Pham Kim Hau: The number of fishing violations in the shared fishing grounds has been reduced every year, over the past 10 years.

Reporter: How are regulations and laws disseminated and taught to our fishermen?

Senior Colonel Pham Kim Hau: Our Coast Guard, Border Guard, Fisheries Resources Surveillance forces, and local authorities collaborate closely to conduct maritime law and regulation education for every fishing village, fishing boat, and fisherman. Forms of maritime law and regulation education vary: from delivering leaflets and directly explaining information to fishermen to organizing games, plays and other activities, both on shore and at sea.
But maritime law and regulation education is not always easy. A few fishermen still lack knowledge of maritime laws and regulations because they spend most of their time fishing at sea. And some people with less education may not fully understand the laws and regulations.

Reporter: In the past, our media reported a number of cases in which the Chinese Coast Guard did not treat Vietnamese fishermen operating in the overlapping areas properly. How did the Vietnamese Coast Guard deal with such cases?

Senior Colonel Pham Kim Hau: When such cases are reported, we send letters and contact our Chinese counterparts on the hotline to deal with the issue.
Vietnam maritime law enforcement forces, including the Vietnam Coast Guard, always treat foreign citizens violating Vietnamese waters well, including Chinese fishermen. We wish that the Chinese Coast Guard Command would instruct their forces to behave humanely and to treat Vietnamese fishermen properly in all circumstances.

Reporter: Thank you.

Interviewed by My Hanh Translated by Thu Nguyen

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