In the early morning, hundreds of fishing boats of fishermen in Phu Loc district dock on the passage to Chan May port in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue. They spread nets to catch baby lobsters. Nets are released densely, very near from big boats in the port.
According to local fishermen, October-December is the time for catching natural baby lobsters to sell to shrimp breeders. As profit from this is very high, at least $100 a day, more local fishermen are flocking to this area to catch “godsend.”
From catching baby lobsters at night, when ships do not enter or leave Chan May port, fishermen now even spread nets during the day, despite the local government’s ban.
Tran Van Phong, deputy director of Chan May Port, said that this situation, which began in 2004, has caused difficulties for foreign ships from entering or leaving the port. Annually, the port authorities were reported with several cases in which ships could not operate due to nets.
In the most recent case, the Legend of the Seas cruise ship’s journey was delayed owing to catching with fishing nets on October 30 and November 4.
“Some domestic and foreign ships have complained that they got heavy losses as their propellers were held by fishing nets of local people. But the port authorities do not have the right to ban fishermen from spreading nets,” Phong said.
Hoang Van Phuong, Vice chair of Loc Vinh commune, said that the local government has organized many meetings with fishermen to announce the ban of fishing in the passage of Chan May port. However, around over 100 families still catch baby lobsters there.
Phuong said that local fishermen still spread nets because the local authorities do not have ships to patrol.
As some foreign ships stated to ‘boycot’ the port for being unsafe, Thua Thien-Hue province’s administration has instructed the local authorities to take tough measures to prevent fishermen from using nets near Chan May port.
According to schedule, from November 2011 through March 2012, Chan May port will welcome over 50,000 international tourists on cruise ships.
Phan Tien Dung, director of Thua Thien-Hue province’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, worried that this situation can make adverse impact on the National Tourism Year, which will be held in Hue city during the Hue Festival 2012. Le Na