At night, 10 trawlers gather in the Binh Chau coastal waters in Quang Ngai province to catch all kinds of aquatic creatures, including the smallest fish and shrimp the activity damages coral reefs.
“Our fishing nets and fish cages are also ‘swept away’ by trawlers. If you complain about that, you will be threatened with death,” said Nguyen Van Bay in An Hai commune of Ly Son district.
The Tam Giang – Cau Hai Lagoon, covering 22,000 hectares, which crosses five districts and communes of Thua Thien – Hue province, has plentiful aquatic resources. There are 15,000 people living on aquaculture and fishery.
Truong Viet Phuong, one of the local fishermen, said there were many fish and it was easy to fish to earn a living. However, fish resources are declining and he now catches several kilos every day.
Dang Viet Nuoc, deputy chair of the Quang An commune, said local men usually hover around lagoon areas, mostly in September and October, and use 500V electricity to catch fish.
|Fishermen’s use of extirpative equipment, including explosive and small-mesh nets, is causing the disappearance of many aquatic species.|
“The men just need 15 minutes to catch all aquatic creatures because they use extirpative equipment,” he explained.
The destructive fishing has seriously affected the aquatic resources in the localities and caused pollution.
Pham Tang Doan, chair of Phu Dien commune, confirmed that the 400 CV trawlers operate in coastal waters, while they are only allowed to operate in the open sea.
Admitting that the local authorities cannot stop illegal fishing, he has petitioned MARD and provincial authorities.
In the provinces of Quang Nam, Khanh Hoa, Quang Ninh, Nghe An and Thanh Hoa, catching fish with explosives and electricity has become common.
The fishermen in Cam An ward of Hoi An City cannot compete against the illegal exploiters who have massive exploitation equipment.
“Every day, we go fishing at 10 am in the fear that our boats and fishing nets may be swept away by the trawlers,” a fisherman complained.
The Tra Co Border Guard Station in Quang Ninh province has discovered 18 cases of using electricity and explosives to catch fish this year.
Pham Thi Huong, deputy chair of Ly Son Island, also reported that many trawlers have been discovered and punished, but admitted that it was difficult to stop the extirpative exploitation.
Huong said the trawlers are anchored offshore to avoid government agencies’ eyes and only go to coastal areas at night.