Local authorities in the central province of Binh Dinh's Quy Nhon City are facing difficulties in clearing its coastline of unplanned aquaculture to prevent shark attacks due to strong opposition from local fishermen.

Director of Quy Nhon City Urban Environment Company's Planning Unit Nguyen Huu Dung said the company and local authorities were responsible for removing fish and shrimp rafts and traps just off the city beach over the last six days.

The move aims to prevent sharks from coming inshore and attacking swimmers. Fish and shrimps bred on rafts and captured in traps were believed to have attracted sharks to the shallow water, he said.

"Nine teams have collected rubbish and 40 large rafts and traps in deep water from Hai Cang to Gheng Rang Ward and removed tens of small rafts further away from the beaches," Dung said.

However, thousands of rafts, set along the coast by local fishermen, remain unmoved.

Company worker Nguyen Van Tin said they had tried to carry out their task but had faced major opposition from local fishermen.

"All we can do is to collect rubbish floating on the sea," he said.

Head of the team Vo Thanh Hai, said local fishermen rowed out in coracles to threaten workers every time they approached the traps.

"We've tried dozens of times but have failed to be able to dismantle or move the traps," he said.

Vice chairman of Nguyen Van Cu Ward People's Committee Vo Dinh Lan said it was not an easy job as many fishermen earned their living from trapping and breeding marine animals.

He said support from relevant authorities would help deal with the issue.

Since mid 2009, 14 people, mostly domestic tourists, have been attacked by sharks along Quy Nhon's beaches. Eight of which were attacked last year and half were hospitalised for treatment.

Three sharks have been caught, including one weighing more than a tonne. Rescue teams and warning messages advising swimmers to remain within 10m of the beach have been implemented as part of the response. /.