As tensions rise in SCS, U.S signs MoU with Vietnam to Protect its Fishermen from China
Since 2015, the United States and Vietnam have been working together on improving law enforcement and fisheries management through technical training, study trips, exchanges and help for Vietnamese fishermen.
Vietnam’s Directorate of Fisheries (DFISH) and the US State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost Vietnam’s fisheries management and law enforcement capabilities.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink said that “The United States has a great deal of experience in managing fisheries and enforcing regulations, which we are more than happy to share”. For this reason, “We look forward to working together with Vietnam to strengthen the sustainability of its fisheries and support its fishers against illegal intimidation.”
The MoU will promote cooperation between Vietnam, the United States and international law enforcement agencies whilst ensuring the sustainability of marine resources.
DFISH Director General Trần Đình Luân and US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink signed the MoU against this background. In particular, the two countries will work together on cooperation programmes, technology sharing, and law enforcement to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.
In February 2021, the INL will transfer to Vietnam’s Department of Fisheries Resources Surveillance (DFIRES) a training facility at Region 5 in Phú Quốc, which will significantly improve the capabilities of DFIRES’s human resources and local fisheries enforcement units in Vietnam’s 28 coastal provinces.
Under the MOU, the US will seek to strengthen Vietnam’s fisheries management, law enforcement capabilities and surveillance systems by providing technical assistance and sharing information. It will also increase cooperation between Hanoi, Washington and international law enforcement agencies to combat illegal fishing and intimidation
, and that Washington would strengthen its policies to halt China’s bid to grab resources, harass fishermen and intimidate its neighbours. A day later, Pompeo said the US would support countries who believed China had violated their sovereignty in the South China Sea.