Vietnam's first official forces to specialise in overseeing operations in the country's seas will be set up early next year.

They will aim to better protect the country's fisheries and sovereignty.

Following a recently-issued Government decree, the forces will conduct regular sea patrols and monitor fishery activities.

Members of the forces will have authority to impose penalties on local and foreign fishing organisations and individuals operating within Vietnam's seas.

They will be involved in disaster prevention and control as well as search and rescue activities.

They will also take part in defending the country's sovereignty and sea jurisdictions under applicable laws and rules.

The forces will be set up under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Devel-opment's Directorate of Fisheries in January.-VNA