| Binh Thuan fishermen fish offshore.
Binh Thuan’s fishing fleet are mostly large, modern vessels equipped with cruise monitoring equipment, long-range radio handsets, and sea water filters, enabling them to cruise among the Truong Sa archipelago’s rigs and sandbars.
Truong Van Toan, one of 10 ship owners in Phan Thiet City, has been fishing in Truong Sa for more than 30 years. Half of the 50 fishermen on his boats have worked with him for a decade.
Toan told VOV he has many memories of his fishing voyages but the most unforgetable was when his boats clashed with foreign ones while fishing in Phuc Nguyen (Prince Consort Bank) near the DK1 platform.
“Sometimes we met foreign fishing boats which were encroaching on our waters. In that case, we called other Vietnamese boats to form a defense line,” Toan recalled.
To protect each other, fishing boats go in groups and stay in contact. When they reach the fishing grounds, ships from different provinces and cities join together to form larger groups.
| Fisherman Le Van Bong.
The family of Le Van Bong, a fisherman from Phan Thiet city, has fished offshore for 5 generations. Bong said he is in the 4th generation of this tradition.
“In recent years, more foreign ships have been seen near Vietnamese waters, pressuring us. If they don’t bother us, we ignore them and just continue to fish in our waters,” said Bong.
Nguyen Van Tai, a young fisherman from Phan Thiet city, said, “Offshore fishing goes on for days and months at a time. It’s a very hard job. I worry about my wife and children at home, and whether they are having any difficulties.”
Despite the hardships, Binh Thuan fishermen keep going out to sea to catch seafood and protect Vietnam’s sovereignty.