Eighteen fishermen from the central province of Phu Yen have been equipped with ICOM radio devices, which help them get in touch with the mainland in case any contingency occurs during offshore fishing operations.

The device, each worth 28 million VND (1,300 USD) is also helpful in weather forecast and search-and-rescue efforts.

The move is a joint effort between the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL)’s charity fund for fishermen and the provincial VGCL chapter.

Chairwoman of the provincial VGCL chapter Nguyen Thi Thu Van said this activity will continue in the coming time.

Earlier, the fund also presented such device to four local fishermen.

In 2013, the southern central coastal province gave more than 44.5 billion VND (2.1 million USD) to boost off-shore fishing, benefiting 455 vessels in their 1,176 fishing expeditions.

The assistance came in the form of fuel subsidies and insurance for boats and fishermen. In addition, the vessels were installed with communication and Global Positioning System equipment.

Over the past three years, total financial support sourced from the province’s budget to fishermen has amounted to 108 billion VND.

Phu Yen authorities are considering another 9.5 billion VND aid package to fishermen in 2014.

The province is the cradle of oceanic tuna fishing in Vietnam.-VNA