Vietnam’s labour union will further help fishermen nationwide to set up their fisheries unions and improve the efficiency of offshore vessels, the country’s top unionist said on June 8.

Dang Ngoc Tung, Chairman of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour, the national umbrella organisation for all trade unions, made the pledge during a conference in the central province of Quang Ngai to review two years of the pilot establishment of fisheries unions.

Statistics released at the event showed that by the end of May, 36 fisheries unions had been set up in 12 cities and provinces, with nearly 6,000 members working on over 1,700 ships.

The establishment of fisheries unions has helped raise fishermen and ship owners’ awareness of legal policies and rules on the exploitation and protection of aquatic resources, as well as of their responsibilities and behaviours in protecting national sovereignty over territorial waters.

Fisheries unions have helped their members enhance solidarity, protected their interests in case of dispute and assisted them once accidents occur.

Chairman Tung said in the coming time, his body will reinforce the organisation and operation of the existing unions while setting up more unions if possible.

It will also set up ties with international fisheries organisations to learn from their experiences and seek their support in operation, training and protecting fishermen’s interests at seas, he added.

At the meeting, the Golden Heart Fund has called upon enterprises, organisations and individuals to support the campaign “Fishing Net of Love for fishermen in Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos”.

As of May, the campaign has received nearly 38 billion VND (1.8 million USD) for supporting fisheries unions, fishermen and their families.-VNA