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Vietnamese fishermen defiant after latest Chinese fishing ban in East Sea

By Pham Huong   May 17, 2016 | 01:33 am PT
Vietnamese fishermen defiant after latest Chinese fishing ban in East Sea
Fishing boat named QNg 98459 suffered heavy damage after getting rammed by a foreign vessel. : Nguyen Dong
The Vietnam Fisheries Society says Chinese moves to restrict fishing in the South China Sea (Vietnam's East Sea) have impeded the production of Vietnamese fishermen and violated the country’s sovereignty.

The statement came after China’s Ministry of Agriculture announced it will unilaterally “ban the exploitation of maritime resources in the upcoming season” in the South China Sea. Starting from May 16, the ban will last two and a half months and cover a large area of sea, including the Gulf of Tonkin and Scarborough Shoal where Vietnam holds sovereignty in some areas.

According to the Fisheries Society, China has been imposing the ban for many years, hindering the production of Vietnamese fishermen and causing losses to the industry.

“The restriction has violated Vietnam’s maritime sovereignty over the Spratly and Paracel archipelagos and the sovereignty and national jurisdiction of Vietnam over its seas under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982,” the statement said.

Vietnamese fishermen said they strongly oppose China's unilateral actions and will ignore the new regulations, saying they mean nothing. The Fisheries Society has asked authorities to respond to China's actions and ensure the protection of fishermen.

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