Independence - Freedom Happiness
No. 39-TTg
Hanoi, January 18, 1997
The State has over the past period issued many regulations requiring local administrations and fishermen to take measures to guard against and reduce risks of calamities for fishermen and fishing facilities. However, the fact remains that there are manifestations of subjectivism and lax observance of these regulations as well as a lack of control and resolute measures to enforce them. As a result, storms and typhoons have over the recent years caused heavy losses in lives and property. In 1996 alone, a single storm caused hundreds of deaths to fishermen and the loss of a great amount of property.
With a view to raising preparedness in prevention and minimizing the losses in lives and property to fishermen, the Prime Minister hereby instructs:
1. The Ministry of Aquatic Products shall promptly undertake the following:
- To review the existing regulations and make changes and supplements to their provisions on safety and rescue gear for people and facilities in fishing business such as life buoys, fire extinguishers and communications instruments in accordance with each type of water area, boats and ships and the financial capability of the fishermen so as to ensure that fishing means are all equipped with the minimum essential safety facilities for operating in the sea.
- To coordinate with the Peoples Committees at all levels and all branches in organizing on a regular basis short-term training courses to provide fishermen with the necessary knowledge about safety and rescue means and how to use them; to manufacture enough and supply timely safety and rescue facilities to fishermen.
- To work out a master plan of the service for storm and flood control, and designate specific sheltering and locality and anchoring areas for boats and ships and evacuation areas for inhabitants in each region.
- To coordinate with the Ministry of Transport and Communications to register and issue operating licenses for fishing boats and ships which are adequately equipped with safety and rescue facilities.
- To organize Coordination Centers for the rescue of fishermen and boats and ships operating in each region in accordance with Decision No.780-TTg of October 23, 1996, of the Prime Minister, and coordinate with the National Committee for Air and Sea Salvage and Rescue and other concerned agencies in conducting timely search and rescue operations when a disaster occurs.
2. The Peoples Committees of the provinces and cities directly under the Central Government are responsible for educating fishermen and owners of fishing facilities on the benefit and importance of having adequate safety and rescue facilities so that they will consciously comply with the related State provisions. In case of a lack of the specified safety facilities, they shall not allow fishermen to venture into the sea and shall have to bear the responsibility for the death of fishermen due to the lack of prescribed safety means.
3. The Ministry of Transport and Communications is responsible for coordinate with the Ministry of Aquatic Products and the Ministry of Defense in organizing the communication network and maritime safety system (light houses, life buoys, danger area marker posts, etc.) on the river and sea routes.
4. The Ministry of Defense shall take the main responsibility, and coordinate with the National Committee for Air and Sea Salvage and Rescue, in working out a timetable and modes of firing alarm signals against storms and for rescue of men and boats and ships in distress.
5. The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Aquatic Products shall study and recommend policies and specific measures to encourage fishermen to procure themselves safety and rescue means, and submit them to the Prime Minister for official decision in the first quarter of 1997; and to direct insurance agencies to organize compulsory purchase of life insurance by sailors and encourage ship owners to purchase insurance for their ships.
6. The Ministry of Planning and Investment shall annually consider and allocate financial plans to the services of Aquatic Products, National Defense, the Interior, and Transport and Communications to help them carry out well the preventive work and rescue operations for fishing personnel and their facilities.
7. The Central Steering Committee for Prevention and Control of Floods and Storms shall coordinate closely with the Ministry of Aquatic Products, the General Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, the Directorate General of Post and Telecommunications, the Peoples Committees of the provinces and cities directly under the Central Government and the mass media to take measures to promptly publicize information on unexpected weather developments, especially in the rainy and stormy seasons so that fishermen take the initiative in sailing off and guard against disaster while fishing at sea.
8. The National Committee for Air and Sea Salvage and Rescue shall direct the Ministry of Aquatic Products and concerned Ministries and agencies to coordinate and organize timely rescue operations for fishermen and their fishing facilities in time of disaster.
The Prime Minister requests the Ministers, the Heads of the ministerial-level agencies, the Heads of the agencies attached to the Government, and the Presidents of the Peoples Committees of the provinces and cities directly under the Central Government, within the scope of their responsibilities, promptly to organize the serious implementation of this Directive and report the results to the Prime Minister.

Tran Duc Luong