A French-funded project has helped the Mekong Delta province Tien Giang install devices using satellite technology on 83 local deep sea fishing boats, Nguyen Trong Tuy, head of the province’s Division of Fisheries and Aquaculture, said.

The satellite positioning machines , worth 135 million VND (nearly 6,430 USD) each, were installed on fishing vessels in Go Cong Dong district, My Tho city, and Go Cong, Tan Phu Dong and Tan Phuoc townships.

Additionally, fishermen were trained on equipment usage and maintenance.

Tuy said the devices helped local authorities update fishermen on weather conditions and locate the boats exactly in case of emergencies.

The division will ask the provincial People’s Committee to equip ten more vessels with the global positioning devices, he added.

Tien Giang currently has approximately 1,400 fishing boats with a total engine power of 290,848 CV.

The installation of global positioning technology is part of an international cooperation project on monitoring fishing boats, fishing grounds and aquaculture resources using satellite technology, also known as Movimar. The project is being implemented in 28 coastal provinces and cities of Vietnam to guarantee safe and productive fishing operations.

In 2009, the French Government signed an agreement with Vietnam to provide 13.9 million EUR for the project, which runs from 2010 to 2014.

The satellite positioning system has two components – the machines installed on the boats and an onshore monitoring system. The equipment on the boats will automatically transfer the coordinates and times of the boats’ positions to the monitoring centre every two hours.-VNA