Officials say China’s fishing ban does not apply to Vietnam
  • By Thao Nguyen - Ha Trang | | May 22, 2014 02:31 PM
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China’s recent unilateral ban on fishing in the East Sea does not apply to Vietnamese waters, an official said.

Nguyen Van Trung, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's (MARD) Vietnam Directorate of Fisheries announced that the ban which lasts from June 16 to August 1 is just one among China’s many illegal actions belying intentions of expansion.

“The ban has been applied annually for years, but it now has more significance as Vietnam is trying to protect territorial waters in the East Sea in the area China illegally set up an oil rig. The ban is aimed at protecting seafood resources during fish-breeding season. However, China was entirely wrong to apply the ban to the area of the "Nine-dotted lines" in the East Sea, infringing on the territorial waters of several countries including Vietnam,” Trung emphasised.

 Deputy Director of the Vietnam Directorate of Fisheries, Nguyen Van Trung, stressed that China’s unilateral ban on fishing in the East Sea does not apply to Vietnamese waters.

“In Vietnam people have to wear helmets while driving, yet we could not enforce this law in China. In the same way, the Chinese ban will apply only to Chinese fishing vessels," he said.

According to Tran Cao Muu, General Secretary of the Vietnam Fisheries Association, apart from the ban, China has assigned many coast guard ships to harass Vietnamese fishing boats in Vietnam’s territorial waters.

"They seized Vietnamese ships, driven them away and arrested and injured Vietnamese fishermen," Muu said, adding that China’s aggressive actions have been deliberate and carefully planned."

Yet, Muu also confirmed that Vietnamese fishermen will continue their activities on Vietnam's waters.


Vietnamese fishing boats are still operating on the East Sea.

Recently, the government of China’s Hainan Island announced the ban on fishing in the East Sea for 2.5 months. The ban covers waters around Vietnam’s Spratly and Paracels archipelagos.

China’s Xinhua News Agency said this is China’s 16th annual ban on fishing.

In January, China also applied a ban on the East Sea and required foreign fishing ships to ask for their permission within their “managed areas”, which cover two thirds of the East Sea.

The regulation stipulates that any ships found fishing within the area would be expelled, have their equipment seized and be fined USD82,600. In some cases, violating sailors may face prosecution under Chinese law.

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