A national project to explore and assess the management of sea resources and the environment during the 2006-11 period was able to yield important results, including building centres to cope with oil spills in three regions and collecting important data on sea resources to help boost the country's marine economy potential.

At a meeting on June 25, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai, Head of the National Steering Committee on Assessing Sea Resources and Environment, reaffirmed the importance of the marine economy to the country's security and socio-economic development.

During the project's implementation, progress was made to systemise all the legal documents pertaining to sea and island protection, natural resources management, sea hydrometeorology, and policies related to building human resources for the sector.

Hoang Duong Tung, Deputy Head of the National Environment Administration, said research conducted within this project had helped improve the efficiency of weather forecasting and limit the damage caused in coastal areas.

For example, the project helped identify spots "vulnerable" to environmental degradation, methods to calculate the economic loss incurred from environmental damage, and systematic criteria to assess the level of environmental degradation in several vital coastal areas.

Under the national project, which was approved in March 2006, 18 out of 20 sub-projects were carried out, including one to assess the potential of oil extraction in the sea and the continental shelf, the country's biodiversity and sources of aquaculture in Vietnam's coastal areas.

The deputy PM called on the project, in the 2011-20 period, to focus on studying the potential of exploiting far-off sea areas.

At the meeting, experts also discussed ways to build a national database on sea resources and to connect research with the real task of sea and island management and the sustainable development of the sea.

The deputy PM also spoke of the need to encourage private sectors to participate in sea resources development and protection, in addition to training the necessary human resources.-VNA