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Vietnam sets up new fisheries surveillance unit amid sea tension

Fisheries Surveillance Team No. 2 made its debut in a ceremony held in Vung Tau, a coastal city of the southern Vietnamese province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau on Thursday, in the context of China maintaining its illegal oil rig in Vietnam’s waters.
Fisheries Surveillance Team No. 2 made its debut in a ceremony held in Vung Tau, a coastal city of the southern Vietnamese province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau on Thursday, in the context of China maintaining its illegal oil rig in Vietnam’s waters.

The unit is managed by the Fisheries Surveillance Sub-Department of Zone 3, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The new team will operate in Vietnam’s waters from the south-central province of Binh Thuan to Bac Lieu, a Mekong Delta province.

The team is tasked with controlling, detecting, and handling violations of Vietnam’s fisheries laws and regulations that occur in the country’s sea areas; protecting the country’s fishery resources; and taking part in safeguarding the country’s sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction over its seas and islands.

It is also required to take part in rescue and salvage activities at sea, and join Vietnamese Coast Guard forces in propagandizing and enforcing the Vietnamese Law on Sea.

The team will deploy its staff and facilities to do its duties at sea soon after its establishment, Ta Quang Nam, head of the team, said at the ceremony.

The team was established against a backdrop that China has maintained its illicit oil rig Haiyang Shiyou 981 in Vietnam’s waters since May 1 despite the strong protest from the Southeast Asian country, which has repeatedly demanded that China remove the platform from the Vietnamese waters immediately.

The rig has recently been relocated to a new spot at 15°33’38’’ North latitude and 111°34’62’’ East longitude, about 25 nautical miles east-southeast of Tri Ton Island, part of Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago in the East Vietnam Sea.

Like its former location, the new venue of the rig is still within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, the Vietnam Coast Guard said.