The Vietnam Fisheries Association on Monday issued a document to protest China’s illegal ban on fishing in the East Vietnam Sea, and requested that local authorities protect fishermen when they do their job in Vietnamese waters.
The opposition followed the announcement by authorities of Haikou, in China’s Hainan Province, of a ban on all fishing activities in the sea area from 12 degrees north parallel to the border of the waters of China’s Guangdong Province with Fujian Province (including the Tonkin Gulf).
The ban is applied from 12:00 pm on May 16 to 12:00 pm on August 1, 2015, according to Chinese authorities.
China’s Xinhua News has also published a notice by the Haikou authorities about the management scheme of a non-fishing season at sea for 2015.
In its protest, the association proposed that competent Vietnamese agencies take measures to prevent and put an end to such an absurd ban, and drive back Chinese ships that take advantage of that groundless prohibition to illegally enter Vietnamese waters to conduct illicit fishing activities.
The association also asked Vietnamese authorities to deploy law-enforcing ships to protect local fishermen from possible threats by Chinese ships, and create good conditions for them to operate in waters under Vietnam’s sovereignty.
On Monday, Vo Van Trac, standing deputy chairman of the association, said the agency has sent documents to the Government Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Central Party Committee’s Commission for External Relations, and other central bodies to object to China’s illegitimate fishing ban.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also vehemently opposed such a ban.
At a press briefing in Hanoi on Saturday, the ministry’s spokesman, Le Hai Binh, said that this act by China violates Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago and sovereign right and jurisdiction over the waters under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
“Vietnam strongly opposes this invalid ban,” Binh said.
The spokesman affirmed that the Southeast Asian country has sufficient legal and historical foundation ascertaining its sovereignty over Hoang Sa and the sovereign right and jurisdiction over its waters, exclusive economic zone, and continental shelf in line with the 1982 UNCLOS.