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Vietnam puts in place measures to address illegal fishing
Ngoc Thuy 16:31, 2021/03/03
Combating IUU fishing is essential for Vietnam to remove EC’s yellow card, while promoting a responsible fishing sector and further accelerating the country’s global integration efforts.

The Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development (MARD) is assisting coastal cities and provinces to enhance efficiency in combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

 Almost all fishing boats are equipped with GPS tracking system. Photo: kinhtedothi

“Seen as an urgent task to build up credibility of Vietnam’s fishing sector in the eyes of the global community in general, and countries sharing the maritime boundaries with Vietnam in general, local fishermen, enterprises and local authorities are committed to addressing concern of the European Committee (EC),“ stated the MARD.

In October 2017, the EC penalized Vietnam with a yellow card for failing to address IUU fishing, “causing severe damages for local fishing sector in terms of both exports and business credibility in the international market,” said Director General of the MARD’s Directorate of Fisheries Tran Dinh Luan, adding the country’s seafood exports to EU market decline by an average of 6-10% per year.

The EU, from being Vietnam’s second largest seafood export market, accounting for 17-20% of total seafood exports, fell to 5th behind Japan, the US, South Korea and ASEAN.

“Combating IUU fishing is essential for Vietnam to remove EC’s yellow card, while promoting a responsible fishing sector and further accelerating the country’s global integration efforts,” he noted, saying such vision has been clearly stated in Vietnam’s Law on Fisheries in 2017.

According to Luan, the Directorate of Fisheries has advised the MARD to issue 54 legal documents to instruct local cities and provinces in addressing their shortcomings in current fishing activities, including the setup of task forces inspecting the work in each locality.

Vietnam has also published the inspection result of fishing activities, especially EU-bound export products, while adhering to the Agreement on Port State Measures to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. 

Soc Trang, one of Vietnam’s 28 coastal cities and provinces, has gained significant results in combating IUU fishing.

With over 366 fishing boats with average length of at least 15 meters, Soc Trang’s authorities have been working with boat’s captains and sailors in complying with current regulations and laws.

Head of the Fishery Department in Soc Trang province Duong Tan Truong said it has set up specific plans to address IUU fishing, including the installation of monitoring equipment on  fishing boats and specialized task force against IUU fishing.

Vice Director of Ca Mau province Department of Agricultural and Rural Development Chau Cong Bang said the authorities control 100% of seafood being handled at ports and are able to retrieve logs from boats to trace the origin of seafood products.

Given the drastic efforts from the Vietnamese government, Veronika Veits, director for EC’s Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries in a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung late 2019 expressed her positive impression with the country’s progress in this matter.
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TAG: Vietnam IUU European Commission EC EU illegal fishing MARD soc trang Ca Mau
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