Like the dry locks of Sinh Ton (Sin Cowe), Song Tu Tay (Southwest Cay), and Da Tay (West Reef) islands, the dry lock of Truong Sa Island is seen as a firm fulcrum for the task of marine economic development on Truong Sa archipelago.

Officers of the Logistic-Technical Service Center on Truong Sa Island presenting national flags and distributing leaflets to fishermen

Stepping off fishing trawlers moored in the dry lock, captain of trawler NT 90228 TS Le Xuan Du received me. Du and crew-members on board come from Phuoc Dinh commune, Thuan Nam district, Ninh Thuan province. He shared that on average the trawler conducts fishing in the open sea for about 16 days, unless the trawler experiences some problems.

They often make thorough preparations for the trip; however, things sometimes do not go as planned. In the past, Truong Sa archipelogo did not have any dry locks. When receiving the information about the upcoming storms, fishing trawlers ran back to the shore, resulting in the loss of money and materials. The dry lock is a place for fishing boats to take a rest and receive logistic and technical services. Thanks to those dry locks, fishermen feel more secure to reach out to the sea.

According to Naval Senior Lieutenant Vu Hoang Tung, Commanding Officer of the Truong Sa island Logistic-Technical Service Center, in about a year, the center welcomed a large number of trawlers to the dry lock and provided them with 247,000 liters of fresh water. In the first quarter of this year, the center repaired 12 troubled trawlers from Binh Thuan, Ninh Thuan, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, and Quang Ngai provinces and offered 215,000 liters of fresh water and presented 259 national flags to fishermen, to name but a few.

Disseminating laws to fishermen

Touring the center, I found that it is provided with modern equipment and the center’s technicians are skilled. Commander Tran Xuan Hoa added that since the beginning of the year, the center has focused on information dissemination to encourage fishermen to strictly implement regulations related to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing prevention, contributing to removing the European Commission (E.C.)’s “yellow card” on Vietnamese seafood exports.

As a firm fulcrum, the personnel of the Truong Sa Island Logistic-Technical Service Center have supported fishermen in carrying out fishing activities in the national waters while strictly grasping directives and orders of higher levels on training and combat readiness.

Regardless of harsh weather conditions, modest living conditions and other difficulties, the center’s officers and staff have shown their firm stance and determination, and heightened solidarity to fulfill all assigned missions, contributing to safeguarding national sovereignty over sea and islands.

Visiting the dry lock of Truong Sa Island, my heart overflowed with deep emotion, as I was extremely impressed by the sentiments and smiles of troops and fishermen on the island.

Translated by Quynh Oanh