Fishermen in Quang Ninh province smuggle air compressors from China and then hire Chinese experts to show them how to catch aquatic creatures with the machines.
Since April 2012, the Quang Ninh provincial authorities have discovered 14 cases in which fishermen used Chinese high capacity air compressors to catch aquatic creatures in masses.
Scientists have warned that this would lead to the permanent eradication of aquatic resources. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has sent an urgent dispatch to the Quang Ninh provincial authorities, requesting to instruct fishermen to stop exploiting aquatic resources this way.
In April and May, the Quang Ninh provincial border police discovered four cases of fishermen using big capacity air compressors to generate powerful water sprays directly into the seabed. With this method, all aquatic animals, both small and grown up would be blown up. Then fishermen would have to do only one thing – catching aquatic creatures with nets.
The worrying thing is that the machines are made in China, while the fishing techniques are shown by “Chinese experts”. At the same time, the Van Don district’s police discovered many cases of exploiting sa sung (Sipuncula) with pneumatic pressure method with the assistance of “Chinese experts.”
The Quang Ninh provincial Sub-department for Aquatic Resource Protection has recently discovered a 22 CV fishing boat with the tonnage of 3.5 tons and no number plate, using air compressors in the Hon Chin island area in Van Yen commune.
When the boat was seized, there were six people on the boat, including four Chinese divers.
A report by the sub-department showed that four of the 14 cases discovered since April, were carried out with the “technical assistance” of Chinese technicians, mostly in the Van Don district area and Mong Cai City.
The agency has also affirmed that there are sometimes tens of boats fishing aquatic creatures in this eradication way at the same time in the areas of Minh Chau, Hon Chin and Quan Lan islands.
Vu Van Nam, head of the sub-department, said that many Vietnamese fishermen understand well that this way of fishing would lead to the eradication of aquatic resources, but they still follow that way to catch more fish for more profits.
Also according Nam, the behavior of the fishermen not only destroys the local ecology, but also leads to the higher jobless rate, because an air compressor has the productivity equal to 100 fishermen.
“Chinese people have so many tricks. I cannot imagine that they can invent such a machine which kills aquatic creatures in masses,” Nam said.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development calls the behavior of Vietnamese fishermen “the behavior of destructing the ecology and exhausting aquatic resources.”
Deputy Minister of Agriculture Vu Van Tam has urged the Quang Ninh provincial authorities to take actions to prevent the behaviors.
“If the behaviors cannot be prevented, this way of fishing would eradicate the whole aquatic resources on both the surface and seabed layers, thus seriously affecting the ecological environment,” Tam said.
Deputy Chair of Quang Ninh People’s Committee Dang Huy Hau has said that the local authorities have ordered relating agencies to inspect the fishing activities and punish violators heavily.
“The local authorities would release a decision to prohibit using air compressors in exploiting aquatic animals in August 2012, which would stipulate heavy punishments on the violators,” he said.