The Vietnam Fisheries Society (Vinafis) has strongly condemned China’s recent fishing ban in the East Sea, deeming the unilateral action irrational and void.

In a statement sent to the Vietnamese Government Office, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Foreign Ministry, and Party Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations, Vinafis said the authorities of Haikou city in China’s southernmost Hainan province have announced a ban on all fishing activities in the sea from 12 degrees northern latitude to the border of the waters of China’s Guangdong province with Fujian province (including the Tonkin Gulf), which is in effect from 12:00 noon on May 16 to 12:00 noon on August 1, 2015.

The act has been repeated for many years, hindering Vietnamese fishing, causing a declined output and economic damages while violating Vietnam’s sovereign right and jurisdiction over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos in line with the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, Vinafis said.

It also requested agencies concerned devise effective measures to end the ban as soon as possible and drive away Chinese vessels taking advantage of the ban to conduct illegal fishing and other activities in Vietnam’s waters.

Vinafis also asked for regular presence of law enforcement vessels at sea to protect fishermen from China’s bullying, enabling them to make a living in Vietnamese waters.-VNA