A Vessel Monitoring System Control Centre surveys offshore fishing vessels . Photo: Khine Htoo (Myeik IPRD)
Starting from 1 September 2020, 16 Vessel Monitoring System Control Centres have been conducting surveillance of offshore fishing vessels in Myanmar waters for the ships to comply with vessels monitoring rules set by the Fisheries Department. “The vessel operators must report to the nearest control station within 48 hours of system breakdown if VMS has the error. The device must be repaired. They will face legal actions if they do not arrive at the related station within 48 hours,” said U Tun Naung Oo, head of Myeik District Fisheries Department.
The Myeik District Fisheries Department has trained more than 300 vessel operators regarding the VMS device and rules. The department will take actions against those vessels violating rules in the coming fishing season. Eight VMS devices are located Myanmar Navy, while six are installed at Fisheries Department and two, at Myanmar Maritime Police. If the vessel operators violate the rules the first time, the fish and shrimps on board will be confiscated. They will be fined K3 million and suspended operation for three months. In the second time, the goods loaded on board will be seized, and the operators will be fined K6 million and suspended licence for six months. The vessel will be confiscated, and the operators will get the licence revoked. We have explained the rules and punishments to the vessel operators, Myeik District Department of Fisheries.
The operators have been notified the set onshore, and offshore areas and the offshore fishing vessels are restricted to enter the coastal site. The department will warn them of departure from the area within one hour, the Myeik District Fisheries Department stated. —Khine Htoo (Myeik IPRD)(Translated by Ei Myat Mon)